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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Order and Ornament: Roy Lichtenstein’s Entablatures

Whitney Museum of American Art / New York / Art

In the 1970s, on lonely walks around Lower Manhattan, Roy Lichtenstein looked at buildings, noticed the ornamental motifs borrowed from past civilizations, and became fascinated by them. Ancient Greeks were the inventors of entablatures (horizontal structures that sit across columns) and Lichtenstein realized that classical motifs were everywhere in American architecture of the early 20th century. In his signature Pop Art style, and using yellows, blacks, and reds, Lichtenstein’s Entablature series comments on cultural appropriation and mass reproduction. —E.C.

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