Jim Dine arranges tools within his composition to create larger symbols, allowing his work to be both moderately autobiographical and open to interpretation. Untitled (2000) uses a hammer, wrench, pliers, blow torch, drill and bolt cutters which create what looks like a phoenix rising from ashes. The bolt cutters serve as its legs and the drill, handle, and blow torch as its wings. At this time in his career, Dine was creating different bird motifs. The phoenix—a symbol of rebirth—relates to themes in Marcus Jansen’s work that respond to a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from his time in the United States Army. He used painting as a therapeutic release and as a way to re-emerge from the challenges and suppression of PTSD.
Untitled (date unknown)
Screen print on paper
Roy Lichtenstein’s Untitled (date unknown) appears similiar to works in his Modern series which focused on American architecture and design of the 1920s and 1930s. Using his signature style of comic strip-inspired Pop art, Lichtenstein shows several angles of a commercial building, possibly asking viewers to think about industrial advancements in urban areas.
The Lichtenstein print reminded me of this photograph I took in Columbus, Indiana.
“Empty Plates (2007) calls attention to the burden of people who struggle economically. Three collaged spoons spaced almost evenly in the background of the painting possibly suggests the number of people in a household. The emptiness of one sullen gray plate and its lack of any remaining crumbs reinforces a sense of scarcity. Stacked coins lining the rim of the plate suggest the household’s poverty. The equation on the right of the canvas also adds to the element of scarcity in this painting, as the question mark represents the question of whether the family has enough. Jansen has seamlessly used his mastery of brushstroke and collage techniques to create this work of art.”
Bouncing Marbles, Bouncing Apple, Bouncing Olive
Oil on canvas
"In Bouncing Marbles, Bouncing Apple, Bouncing Olive, Edward Ruscha explores an obscure language of visual relationships. He divorces the objects depicted from their everyday contexts by placing them within an infinite, surreal space. The relationships that exist among the marbles, apples and olive are equally interpretations. The marbles might refer to childhood, the olive to hors d'oeuvres and martinis and the apple to the Fall of Adam and Eve. Such a reading makes this a meditation on the loss of innocence. Alternatively, Ruscha may have constructed a playful dialog among round forms or a treatise on Newton's law."
Starboat (Tugboat and Riverboat) 1966
Oil on canvas
Starboat (Tugboat and Riverboat) is painted with Thiebaud's characteristic sensuous colors and thick impasto. The boat and its reflection are rendered with delicate brush strokes. Sea and sky, boldly defined by a yellow and green horizon line, are laid out in broad swaths with a palette knife. While Thiebaud's work has been associated with Pop art because of its focus on the everyday objects of popular culture, he sees it as part of a long realist tradition.
Still Life with Brushes, Shell and Star Fish, 1972
Roy Lichtenstein was one of the leading painters of the Pop Art movement. During the 1960s he translated banal advertisements and adventure comic strips into large-scale paintings, using bright, flat colors and hard-edge, precise drawing. Benday dots, integral to the photo-mechanical printing process, are exaggerated to the point of becoming design elements in the art.
Still Life with Brushes, Shell and Star Fish belongs to a series of paintings by Lichtenstein that investigates the styles and subjects of art history. In this painting, Lichtenstein defies our expectations for the still life by rendering it in the visual language of the comic strip. He reminds us that the process of mechanical reproduction reduces all works of art to simple arrangements of dots. …
"What interests me is to paint the kind of anti-sensitivity that impregnates modern civilization. I think art since Cezanne has become extremely romantic and unrealistic, feeding on art. It is Utopian. It has less and less to do with the world. It looks inward — neo-Zen and all that. Pop Art looks out into the world. It doesn't look like a painting of something, it looks like the thing itself."