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Roy Lichtenstein’s Three Landscapes

View (shaky) excerpt on youtube - but you get the idea of how magnificent the imagery and the relationship between each screen in the installation.

"Three Landscapes, a little-known triple screen film installation by Roy Lichtenstein, unseen since its showing at the Los Angeles County Museum in 1971 as part of the groundbreaking exhibition Art and Technology. The result of a short residency at Universal Studios in Hollywood, the films, newly restored by the Whitney on their original 35mm format, are testimony to Lichtenstein’s experimentation with form and his fascination with cinema."
Source: youtube excerpt description from above

Currently showing (January 2012) at Whitney Museum of American Art
Quote review by Maika Pollack from this website below
"An installation of three silent, one-minute films by Roy Lichtenstein gives a rare glimpse into the Pop artist’s experiments in 35-mm moviemaking. Created during a two-week residency at Hollywood’s Universal Studios special effects lab in February 1969 and filmed primarily in Montauk, the works extend Lichtenstein’s interest in commercial landscapes to imagine a Pop seascape. Each looped film’s split of sea and sky is bisected by a tilting, animated comic-book horizon. The first screen shows a static sky of blue Ben-day dots; underneath the bright pattern a body of water is filmed lapping, lit as if illuminated in red neon. In the second film, white clouds are scattered above a group of tropical fish, and the black horizon line that divides sky from sea rocks like a ship’s deck. The last features a single white seagull in a cartoon-blue sky above a sunlit, vacation postcard–ready seascape. The images play simultaneously against the ticker-tape hum of reel film, which one can see circling through pizza box–size film casings behind the three suspended projection screens.
Shown together for the first time, the three films develop formal contrasts between sky and water, stenciled dots and thick contours, motion and stasis. Yet these lo-fi holidays in the sun also provide a distinct contrast to the more famous Pop movies of Andy Warhol, created during the same decade. Where Warhol shot stars with a scopic investment heightened by the grainy, ambiguous, and “inexpert” quality of his productions, Lichtenstein brought together filmed and animated elements to create pastiche landscape pictures born of special effects in which the real becomes a prop to the unreal. Made after Lichtenstein’s iconic comic-book paintings of the 1960s, the films all feature limitless horizons reminiscent of Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, 1818, or any of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s seascapes. If the subject matter of Pop art has been called banal and impersonal, this work is instead transcendent: a Pop sublime.  Maika Pollack"


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