Roy Lichtenstein Moonscape (Study), 1984
Image 8,6 × 13 cm (3.39 × 5.12 in)
Moonscape (Study), 1984 is a preparatory drawing for Roy Lichtenstein’s seminal work Moonscape (1985) from his ‘Landscapes’ series. Out of the seven works from the series, Moonscape utilises the most colours, a combination of forty-five different hues ranging from Bocour blue to transparent orange. Another work from Landscapes, View from a Window (1985), is part of the MoMA’s permanent collection. Moonscape (Study) offers precious insight into Lichtenstein’s working process, revealing the presence of the artist’s hand, which is most often removed from the paintings of the Pop period. The scene – showing bathers laying in front of a lake that reflects the moonlight – is executed with energy and an economy of line. The undulating lines and rapid diagonal hatching convey a sense of freedom, looseness and freshness that is apparent in Lichtensteins’s work at large. They also give rhythm to the scene ; in his essay Brushstrokes, art historian Siegfried Gohr writes about the ‘musicality’ of the works from this period. The Moonscape drawing is not only a compositional device for the artist, orchestrating the scene with his new ‘brushstroke style’, it also demonstrates how Lichtenstein planned-out his combinations of colours.