Roy Lichtenstein Wall Explosion II 1965

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Artwork details

Artist
Roy Lichtenstein 1923–1997
Title
Wall Explosion II
Date 1965
Medium Enamel on steel
Dimensions Object: 1702 x 1880 x 102 mm, 110 kg
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1980
Reference
T03083
Not on display

Display caption

This wall-mounted sculpture was based on a painting made two years earlier, entitled 'Varoom'. The source image for both works was an illustration in a popular boys' comic that focused on the Second World War. Like all of Lichtenstein's work this sculpture is ironic. The steel mesh suggests cloud, but it also alludes to the Benday dots used in the printing of comics and newspapers. However, the sculpture has no relation to that process and, indeed, the dots were barely visible in the original illustration. Made at a time when the USA was heavily involved in the Vietnam War, this sculpture can be seen as anaesthetising violence, turning a destructive explosion into a simplified icon of beauty.

September 2004

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