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Roy Lichtenstein

Man with Folded Arms

1962

For Man with Folded Arms, Roy Lichtenstein reinterpreted Paul Cézanne’s Man with Crossed Arms (c. 1899) by painting a diagram outlining Cézanne’s compositional strategies for the work that he had found in an instructional art book. For the original painting, Cézanne created his subject’s form using expressive strokes of color. Like the diagram, Lichtenstein’s work is devoid of color, with the man’s form articulated by graphic lines that sit on a ground of Benday dots. The work embodies Lichtenstein’s approach: a hand-painted, one-of-a-kind replica of a mass-produced printed reproduction, rendered in a visual language borrowed from popular culture that lends the work the flat sterile quality of printed matter.

Roy Lichtenstein (b. 1923, New York; d. 1997, New York)
Man with Folded Arms, 1962
Oil on canvas
70 x 48 1/2 in.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
The Panza Collection

I don’t draw a picture in order to reproduce it—I do it in order to recompose it. Nor am I trying to change it as much as possible. I try to make the minimum amount of change... so there is no record of the changes I have made. Then, using paint which is the same color as the canvas, I repaint areas to remove any stain marks from the erasures. I want my painting to look as if it has been programmed. I want to hide the record of my hand. —Roy Lichtenstein

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