A couple weeks ago, Paula Cooper Gallery opened a rare exhibition of works by Roy Lichtenstein from his celebrated Entablatures series. Serving as a departure from the signature spotted, comic-inspired pop art he carved his artistic niche upon in the early 1960’s, the paintings are based around the subject of “entablatures”; ornamental features found on classical building facades. In the early 1970’s he found inspiration for the series both in Greek and Roman examples sourced from architectural journals, but also from photographs he took of Manhattan building facades, generally shooting around noon when light and shadow were in high contrast and the ornamental features thrown in sharp relief.
Through as selection of large scale paintings on canvas as well as colored pencil studies on paper, the exhibition focuses primarily on the second phase of the Entablatures series, executed between 1974-76 when he depended less on reference photographs and therefore were more experimental and abstract. The repetitive geometry present in the series represents Lichtenstein’s commentary on minimalism and abstractionism. Running through October 22, 2011, the significance of this body of work in the Lichtenstein oeuvre, coupled with the curatorial rarity in garnering such a collection under one roof make this a worthwhile showing for those in the New York area.
Check out an extensive overview of works in the exhibition after the jump.
Images © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York