Corlett Catalogue Raisonné of the Prints of Roy Lichtenstein

I.19. Interior Series, 1990 (published 1991)

Corlett 247–254

Unlike with most print series, the prints of the Interior series preceded, rather than followed, the paintings of similar subjects. Preliminary discussions about the prints began in the fall of 1989. Lichtenstein created eight small collages for the project in his New York studio, and in early 1990 he arrived at Gemini G.E.L. to begin work. With the exception of RLCR 3982, La Sortie, the Interiors are based on advertisements, most of which Lichtenstein cut from the Yellow Pages of telephone directories. He enlarged the advertisements using an opaque projector, traced them, and then, after turning the tracing paper over, extensively reworked the images. Once a composition had been reworked to his satisfaction, he traced the drawing onto museum board, at which point the collage elements were added.

The images were transferred to the woodblocks by projecting them in reverse and tracing the lines onto the wood in blue. Lichtenstein then reworked each drawing on the block using black tape in various widths to establish the desired lines. The edges of the tape were then outlined on the wood, and the tape removed. Lichtenstein then cut these outlines, leaving broad open areas of the blocks to be cleared by assistants (using routers where needed). These became the key blocks for each print. Mylar tracings were made from proofs pulled from the key blocks and used to prepare the blocks, screens, and plates for the color areas. 

Some areas—such as “Blondie’s leg” in La Sortie—were added to the block like a jigsaw-puzzle piece; its silhouette was cut out, and it was fitted with dowels on the back so it could be inked separately and then attached to the block. The dots were made with the sandblasting method as described for the Brushstroke Figures series. (See Brushstroke Figures series remarks; see also Mark Rosenthal’s interview with Lichtenstein, in M. Rosenthal 1993, p. 90–105.)   

For all of the images in the series, the artist worked with black-line and/or color proofs, adding collage elements to explore the possibility of creating state prints.  Only one state print, of RLCR 4529, La Sortie (State), was ever produced.

With this series, Gemini began using a blind stamp that included the copyright symbol, the year of publication, the artist’s initials, and the Gemini logo.

(Corlett 2002, p. 228)