Roy Lichtenstein
Whaam! 1963

Artwork details

Roy Lichtenstein 1923–1997
Date 1963
Medium Acrylic paint and oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1727 x 4064 mm
frame: 1747 x 4084 x 60 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1966
Not on display

Display caption

'Whaam!' is based on an image from 'All American Men of War' published by DC comics in 1962. Throughout the 1960s, Lichtenstein frequently drew on commercial art sources such as comic images or advertisements, attracted by the way highly emotional subject matter could be depicted using detached techniques. Transferring this to a painting context, Lichtenstein could present powerfully charged scenes in an impersonal manner, leaving the viewer to decipher meanings for themselves. Although he was careful to retain the character of his source, Lichtenstein also explored the formal qualities of commercial imagery and techniques. In these works as in 'Whaam!', he adapted and developed the original composition to produce an intensely stylised painting.

September 2004