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.
© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein, c/o Pictoright Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Makers

Collection

Paintings

Production date

1964

Library

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Material

acrylic (Magna) and oil on cotton

Object number

A 23603(1-3)