Nude reading by roy lichtenstein

Nudes Roy Lichtenstein

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Roy Lichtenstein (b. 1923) delved into a broad range of subject matter throughout his career. In 1994, the artist came full circle, returning to his cartoon heroines of the 1960s. Those initial works propelled him to the forefront of the Pop Art movement, cementing his iconic status in the realms of contemporary art. Lichtenstein’s 1994 Nudes interrogate the most ancient genre of art history; the highly sexualised female nude.

Lichtenstein’s Nudes were composed using hand-cut as well as computer-generated dye-cut stencils. Rather than capturing the bodies of live models, the artist decided to fabricate the female figures himself. Consequently, he sourced their physical female attributes from his extensive archive of comic strips and movie stills. The artist also took inspiration from two of art history’s most famous modern masters, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Accordingly, his Nudes abstracted the female body to its simplest and most essential form.

The naked bodies in this series may at first glance appear to be generic objects of desire, just as in traditional paintings. However, the women depicted on Lichtenstein’s canvases have an entirely contemporary air about them. They are completely in control of their own experiences. These leading ladies are all portrayed on their own, or with another female companion. The leading men who accompanied Lichtenstein’s distressed heroines of the 1960s are altogether absent from this series.

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