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Over the course of six prints, Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923–1997) progressively simplifies and abstracts a Holstein cow, a sequence only comprehensible when the series is seen in its entirety. Lichtenstein directly quotes Picasso’s lithographic series The Bull (Le taureau), 1946, and Theo van Doesburg’s pencil studies for The Cow, 1916–1917, in which bovines are incrementally rendered abstract.
These precedents testify to the modernist belief that universal truth could be revealed through distillation and abstraction. Lichtenstein, though, parodies this faith by calling into question the presumed distinction between “realistic” and “abstract” depictions. The stylized, wavy, black patterning in Bull I that calls to mind Old Master woodcuts or line engravings reverberates with the crisp, diagonal cross-hatching in the subsequent prints. This visual rhyme calls attention to the fact that, as Lichtenstein put it, “nothing is more abstract than anything else to me. The first one is abstract; they’re all abstract.”

Bull Profile Series, Plate II – Roy Lichtenstein – Pop Art Painting

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Bull Profile Series, Plate II – Roy Lichtenstein – Pop Art Painting Poster
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Bull Profile Series, Plate II – Roy Lichtenstein – Pop Art Painting Poster
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Bull Profile Series, Plate II – Roy Lichtenstein – Pop Art Painting Art Print
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Bull Profile Series, Plate II – Roy Lichtenstein – Pop Art Painting Art Print
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Bull Profile Series, Plate II – Roy Lichtenstein – Pop Art Painting Canvas Print
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Bull Profile Series, Plate II – Roy Lichtenstein – Pop Art Painting Canvas Print
Rolled • 18x14 inches

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Bull Profile Series, Plate II – Roy Lichtenstein – Pop Art Painting Canvas Print
Wrapped • 12x9 inches

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Bull Profile Series, Plate II – Roy Lichtenstein – Pop Art Painting Canvas Print
Wrapped • 18x14 inches

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Bull Profile Series, Plate II – Roy Lichtenstein – Pop Art Painting Canvas Framed Print
Framed • 12x9 inches

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Bull Profile Series, Plate II – Roy Lichtenstein – Pop Art Painting Canvas Framed Print
Framed • 18x14 inches

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Bull Profile Series, Plate II – Roy Lichtenstein – Pop Art Painting Framed Print
Framed With Mat • 12x9 inches

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Bull Profile Series, Plate II – Roy Lichtenstein – Pop Art Painting Framed Print
Framed With Mat • 18x14 inches

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Over the course of six prints, Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923–1997) progressively simplifies and abstracts a Holstein cow, a sequence only comprehensible when the series is seen in its entirety. Lichtenstein directly quotes Picasso’s lithographic series The Bull (Le taureau), 1946, and Theo van Doesburg’s pencil studies for The Cow, 1916–1917, in which bovines are incrementally rendered abstract. These precedents testify to the modernist belief that universal truth could be revealed through distillation and abstraction. Lichtenstein, though, parodies this faith by calling into question the presumed distinction between “realistic” and “abstract” depictions. The stylized, wavy, black patterning in Bull I that calls to mind Old Master woodcuts or line engravings reverberates with the crisp, diagonal cross-hatching in the subsequent prints. This visual rhyme calls attention to the fact that, as Lichtenstein put it, “nothing is more abstract than anything else to me. The first one is abstract; they’re all abstract.”

Roy Lichtenstein was an American pop artist best known for his boldly-colored parodies of comic strips and advertisements. In the 1960s, Lichtenstein became a leading figure of the new Pop Art movement. Inspired by advertisements and comic strips, Lichtenstein's bright, graphic works parodied American popular culture and the art world itself.

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