Friday, 30 October 2009

Lichtenstein 'Rouen Cathedral Set V [center]' 1969

Lichtenstein Rouen Cathedral Set V [center] 1969 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

The Ben Day dots simultaneously sustain and interfere with our perception of the cathedral. A close inspection is almost giddying, physically unsettling, as though one were looking through the punctured white screen masking a duochrome image behind, whereas in fact the duochrome image lies on top of the white ground. I am aware of several things at once: the cathedral, the dots, the Monet, the Lichtenstein, the High Modernist aesthetic of the museum — at no time do these settle into an an undifferentiated whole. I am looking at many layers of image, just as I am looking at many dots.