Roy Lichtenstein adopted popular culture of the 1960s—action movies, comics, romantic potboilers, advertisements, manufactured objects and food—as the subject of his art. The fighter pilots and blonde beauties that were depicted in the popular culture of that decade appear in the Reflections series, which Lichtenstein made towards the end of his life.
Reflections reinterprets and refines Lichtenstein’s earlier paintings and prints that were based on cartoons, romance and war comics. In Reflections on Crash, we see the American–Indian war pilot Johnny Cloud, the mystical superhero of Irv Novick’s All-American men of war comic series, glancing back through the airplane’s cockpit in response to the loud explosion of enemy fire, denoted by the word ‘CRASH’. This work brings Lichtenstein full circle with his re-examination of the art of his past. The reflective nature of the work is highlighted by the shards of mirror-like surface that form part of the composition.
The Reflections series was made in collaboration with the gifted printer Ken Tyler at Tyler Graphics workshop, Mount Kisco, New York State, and is a technical tour de force in printmaking. The work is part of the Kenneth Tyler collection of over 7000 editioned prints, proofs, drawings, screens, paperworks, multiples, illustrated books and matrices at the National Gallery of Australia, along with a collection of unique candid photography, film and audio.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2014
From: Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2014