Early on in his career Roy Lichtenstein based his work mostly on cartoons and comic books. This triptych drew from the comic book "All American Men of War". The three images in As I Opened Fire work together to tell a story. The narrative is reinforced with carefully added text. This work references a revolution in art in the 1960s. Formally, Lichtenstein appropriated images from popular culture. He inserted them into a fine art context enlarging them, altering them slightly and painting them on canvas. Thus, the artist obscured the border of high and low art. He followed a strict, self-imposed formal vocabulary. Lichtenstein emphasized primary colours, black contours and enlarged 'Benday dots' frequently seen in mechanical reproductions. This work, a typical example of Pop art, can be understood as a reaction against Abstraction Expressionism. Lichtenstein responds with the erasure of the artist's hand in his painting.
The collection of the Stedelijk Museum contains about 90,000 objects. It is the museum's ambition to present the entire collection on-line. At this moment a selection of 8,000 works is available: more works will be added continuously. In some instances a reproduction cannot be shown due to copyright reasons. For further information please mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the library of the Stedelijk Museum where the collection database gives you access to all the works in the collection.