roy lichtenstein pop art explosions
Lichtenstein’s list of aeronautically themed works is extensive. Varoom! is an explosion that is regarded as part of that theme.  Varoom!, which depicts an instantaneous explosion, is composed of the primary colors presented over a light dotted background. Black and white specs add crackle to the composition. The block-lettered text, “VAROOM!”, stands out, giving a title to the shattering event. 
In the early- and mid-1960s Lichtenstein produced several of his most notable works, many with themes of war or romance, but others with themes of explosions or brushstrokes. Several of Lichtenstein’s large-scale depictions of explosions, such as Varoom! are iconic.  Varoom! along with Whaam! and Bratatat! are among Lichtenstein’s most recognizable onomatopoeic works and was in a sense part of Lichtenstein’s response to action painting. 
This wall-mounted sculpture turns an explosion into a stylish icon. There is no sense of any resulting destruction. Lichtenstein made this sculpture at a time when the USA was heavily involved in the Vietnam War. It is based on an illustration in a popular boys’ comic that focused on the Second World War. The blue steel mesh with its regularly punched holes relates to the Benday dots used in printing of comics and newspapers.
Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.
As with other artists during this time period, many of his pieces were defined by the use of bold colours, stark lines and an innate desire to convey silent movement through emotion. Wall Explosion 2 is a perfect example of these principles and to date, it is one of his most well-known pieces.
One would be mistaken to assume that Wall Explosion 2 (1965) is simplistic in its nature. While there is no doubt that Lichtenstein and others were heavily influenced by the popularity of comic books during this time, the visual balance achieved in this piece cannot be overlooked.
However, it is Lichtenstein’s “Explosion”, with its “explosive immediacy of statement”, as Johnson wrote, that has become the most celebrated and emblematic image of the entire portfolio. 25 years later, Irwin Hollander would describe this print as “pure, simple lithography” with fuschia squeegeed through a grid directly onto the plate to create the dots.
Hollander Workshop New York, Irwin Hollander, NY, pub.
The American painter, sculptor and printmaker Roy Fox Lichtenstein, along with Andy Warhol, was one of the leading figures in the Pop-art movement during the 1960s. He is best known for his instantly recognizable comic-strip style of painting, as exemplified by works like “Whaam!” (1963, Tate Gallery, London) and “Drowning Girl” (1963, Museum of Modern Art, New York). These paintings – now seen as iconic images of American art – were based on magnified details of advertisements of everyday objects and comic-strip imagery, featuring heavy black outlines and primary colours. The colours and tones were built up with primary-coloured dots, but since his pictures were bigger than newspaper comic strips, the dots were painted through stencils and called Benday Dots, after the illustrator Benjamin Day. Modern artists like Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) and Jasper Johns (b.1930) had already used cartoons in their works, but only as part of painted collages. Lichtenstein went further and made the cartoon, the work itself. His other works include: Takka Takka (1962, Museum Ludwig, Cologne); Torpedo. Los (1963, Private Collection); In the Car (1963, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art); Hopeless (1963, Kunstmuseum, Basel); and Still Life with Crystal Bowl (1973, Whitney Museum of American Art). He is one of the best known 20th century painters of the Pop-Art movement, and many of his paintings are available as prints in the form of poster art.
HIGHEST PRICED ART
For a list of the highest prices paid
for works of art by famous painters:
Most Expensive Paintings: Top 10.