Roy Lichtenstein | Nudes: Andipa, London

12 - 30 August 2004

"Why bother doing nudes, you might ask? I get a kick out of the fact that the nude is so insistent." Roy Lichtenstein

In one of his final, and perhaps most erotic series before his death in 1997, Roy Lichtenstein returned full circle to his original 1960s cartoon protagonists for inspiration for his 1994 ‘Nudes’ series. Hailed by Art Historian Sheena Wagstaff as “a profoundly innovative and active meditation upon the relationship of creation and perception” Andipa Gallery is proud to present the complete series of ten prints. The series tackles one of art history’s most infamous subjects: the sexualised female nude.

Each prints depicts a young nude either alone or with another nude girl, pulling a provocative pose. They are placed into domestic interiors that echo those from his ‘Interiors’ series (1990). But this time they are taken off the walls and placed inside the scene. However, the girls remain as stylised and edited as the sofas, pillows, and vases around them. They are as incongruous in the domestic interiors as the furnishings within; the roundness of the female body contrasts with the straight lines of the furniture. Unlike with Lichtenstein’s previous prints that often depicted a ‘damsel in distress’ being rescued by a heroic male figure, there are no men in this series. Some critics hail this as a rather feminist move on Lichtenstein’s behalf, saying these girls “take pleasure in their own company without the slightest hint of needing or missing a man”. However, it could be argued Lichtenstein has replaced the previous male figure for men to project onto with a more distanced, but highly voyeuristic gaze. The girls are depicted in the supposed safety of a domestic interior, caught in private, intimate moments by the viewer. However, most of these girls are unaware they are being watched, absorbed in their domestic activities of reading, thinking, or answering the phone. They become a fantasy of the perfect domestic woman, encompassed by the comfortable interior in a classic Lichtenstein style.

For more information on any of the artworks featured and to buy Roy Lichtenstein screen prints contact Andipa Editions.