Through the period in which Roy Lichtenstein simulated comic books in his painting, 1961-65, other possibilities showed up sporadically and were not let go. There were, for instance, the whole objects, viewed dead on, one at a time, scattered through 1961-63, and there were the references to other artists: Earl Loran's Cézanne compositional schema, 1962, Picasso in 1963-64, Mondrian in 1964. By the last year of the comics period Lichtenstein had considerably systematized his method of working, and instead of ranging freely, as in the earlier 'sixties, testing out the perimeters of his area, he began to paint in runs. The girls' heads of 1964-65, for instance, are all in close-up and all are elegant. The explosions, the sunsets, the seascapes, the brushstrokes (all invented), are done as sets between 1964-66. One can describe the work either as being more concentrated thematically or as being conceived in groups or sets, in which case the effect is of diffusion among individual works. The latter description is probably truer, because thinking and working in terms of a period is to be in an extended situation, as opposed to trying to squeeze everything into one knock‐ them-dead picture. The prints, banners and multiples of Lichtenstein also point to an idea of diffusion, this time by stepped-up distribution.
Lichtenstein has revealed an increasing interest in three-dimensional form recently, at first mainly as a paradoxical accompaniment to pictorial elements. His ceramic sculptures of stacked cups in the same medium as the original objects (a sculptural first?) were colored in a thick handcraft way, and his heads of girls carried two-dimensional symbols for shadow and volume overlaid on real masses, so that the representational signs became decorative devices. Similarly, the explosions are ironic monuments, combining solid slices with pictorial images of flame and smoke. Referring to the 'solidification' of sunsets and explosions, Lichtenstein observed, "Cartoonists have developed explo‐____________________