Brushstroke Still Life with Lamp belongs to series of still life prints completed in 1997. The idea of an 'obliterating brush stroke' came to Roy Lichtenstein in a dream; a brush stroke that washed over the surface of an image, defacing or effacing it.
It is the artist's hand that is of interest here. Lichtenstein's brushstrokes have a distinctive history, dating from about 1965-1966, when they seemed to parody the idea of the subconscious expression of ideas through the artist's hand so central to Abstract Expressionism. These brushstrokes were made with calculation and care by mechanical means, the very mechanical methods and aids he employed proposing the antithesis of all romantic ideas attached to the artist's gesture and stroke. But where as Lichtenstein's pre-pop early paintings speak of his aesthetic polarities, one eye towards Europe and Picasso, the other cast on native grounds of the Abstract Expressionists and their emotionally freighted look, this mature and archetypal image painted at the end of his career readdresses two of the main motifs that remained present: the still life element that he developed throughout his work in the 1970s and the obliterating brush stroke of his earlier days and a trademark of the Pop era.