About This Work:
Pop Art draws upon the style and imagery of advertising and popular culture to challenge our preconceptions about the nature of art itself. Roy Lichtenstein not only was a New York Pop Art painter, but also one of the first American Pop artists to achieve widespread notoriety.
His very personal and unique style derived from comic strips which portray the trivialization of culture, endemic in contemporary American life. Using bright, strident colors and techniques borrowed from the printing industry, he ironically incorporates mass-produced emotions and objects into highly sophisticated references to art history. This is the case of Reflections On Minerva.
Lichtenstein has often explored the theme of Reflections, incorporating them in various paintings and several print series. In 1988 Lichtenstein began working on a group of Reflections paintings, in which the central image is partly obscured by reflective streaks, as if behind glass or reflected in a mirror.
Reflections On Minerva can be considered an iconic work, since it is a perfect example of Lichtenstein’s style. A style made of primary colors – red, yellow and blue, heavily outlined in black. Instead of shades of color, he used the ben-day dot, a method by which an image is created, and its density of tone modulated, through the position and size of a myriad of dots during the printing process.
The original source for this Reflections print was the November-December 1948 edition of the comic book ‘Wonder Woman’, illustrated by Harry G. Peter. The eponymous super-heroine is shown with a speech bubble exclaiming her catchphrase, ‘Merciful Minerva!’. Wonder Woman regularly invoked the Roman goddess Minerva, who was traditionally known as the goddess of wisdom but also encompassed the arts, trade, poetry, and later, war and power.
Despite the title of this work, Reflections On Minerva, the “reflections” are the real protagonists of this work. They are formed by portions of the print striped or dotted and layered upon the image of Minerva, which is drawn with the simple lines typical of comic strips. The theme of reflection is a very important one for Lichtenstein.
Other works by this artist: