Roy Lichtenstein

Explosion

1965–6

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Medium
Lithograph on paper
Dimensions
Image: 562 x 435 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Museum of Modern Art, New York 1976
Reference
P01796

Display caption

Beginning in 1962 Lichtenstein borrowed images of explosions from popular war comics for use in his paintings. The subject embodies the revolutionary nature of Pop art and suggests the very real threat of annihilation by nuclear explosion that was prevalent at that time (the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in 1962). But Lichtenstein was also interested in the way dynamic events like explosions were depicted in the stylised format of comic book illustration. This print incorporates many of the hallmarks of his early painting style: flat primary colours, Benday dots, outlines and schematic drawing.

Gallery label, September 2004