Mechanism Cross Section

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Roy F. Lichtenstein

American, 1923 - 1997

Mechanism Cross Section, 1954

  • Not On View

Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 40 × 54 in. (101.6 × 137.2 cm)
Framed: 41 7/8 × 55 3/4 in. (106.4 × 141.6 cm)

Gift of Messrs. Samuel N. Tomkin and Sidney Freedman, 1956.2

Roy Lichtenstein, like Andy Warhol, was a consummate Pop artist. His appropriation of images from a myriad of sources--advertising, comic-strips, art history, and everyday life--and use of a Ben-Day dot technique derived from commercial printing resulted in a style uniquely his own. This early painting, Mechanism Cross Section, is the work of a young artist grappling with the search for his own style and shows the influence of the Abstract Expressionist movement. During this time Lichtenstein was also looking to American themes placed within a Cubist grid or structure. Ernst Busch, who made a study of Lichtenstein's early work, draws a correlation between this work and diagrams of machinery with clearly delineated pipes and valves. The painting might also resemble some sort of topographical mapping, with tunnels, a bridge, and roads.

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