Mirror #3 (Six Panels)

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Roy Lichtenstein
American, 1923-1997

Mirror #3 (Six Panels), 1971

Oil and Magna on canvas
305 x 335 cm (120 x 132 in.)
Anstiss and Ronald Krueck Fund for Contemporary Art, facilitated by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, 2005.18

© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

Mirror #3 (Six Panels) is among the most ambitious canvases in Roy Lichtenstein’s Mirror series (1969–72). Like his famous cartoon images, these paintings were inspired by sources in popular culture. Studying illustrations from furniture- and glass-company catalogs, Lichtenstein familiarized himself with the pictorial conventions used to represent reflections. This work also references the long tradition of rendering mirrors in art, a theme explored by artists from Diego Velázquez to Pablo Picasso. Lichtenstein was perhaps most invested, however, in broadly generic questions of surface and support. Only stylized gleam and shadow are reflected in his mirror; thus, the puzzling, fragmented, even conceptual abstraction becomes the real subject of the work.