Roy Lichtenstein – New York 1923-1997 New York (ARCHIVED)

Roy Lichtenstein - Reclining Nude,1977.jpg
Roy Lichtenstein - Reclining Nude,1977.jpg

Roy Lichtenstein – New York 1923-1997 New York (ARCHIVED)

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Reclining Nude, 1977

Oil on canvas, 214 x 305 cm

In this key painting Roy Lichtenstein brings together elements from several earlier phases of his work – the factitious brush-strokes, the art-déco mirror and architecture, the dancing figures reminiscent of Calder and Arp and the allusions to surrealist compositions by Picasso. To these he now adds the motif of a nude reclining on the beach, itself an allusion to other twentieth-century interpretations of the same theme.

Lichtenstein’s use of giant blow-ups of characters from science fiction and comic strips and of other images derived from mass culture has made him the most extreme and, at the same time, the most immediately intelligible of all the artists who succeeded the Abstract Expressionists. What may have appeared to some as a lack of pictorial invention on his part has in reality been an increasingly intense commentary on earlier periods of the twentieth century, developing finally into what may be not only the most personal of his own work but of any artist of his generation.

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