Roy Lichtenstein's Study for Interior with Skyline, is part of a series of works depicting living rooms and bedrooms which the artist executed in the early 1990s in a variety of mediums, including paintings, collages and prints. As one of the last major series produced before the artist's death, these paintings represent a culmination of Lichtenstein's method of appropriating images from popular media. Seductive commercial images of the modern home interior formed the inspirational basis of the Interior series. While Lichtenstein served as artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome in the spring of 1989, he spotted a billboard furniture advertisement that triggered his scavenges into the local Yellow Pages for interior images of rooms. Lichtenstein focuses on a subject that has long captured the fascination of Pop artists: the myth of blissful bourgeois domesticity. The seminal work of Pop art, Richard Hamilton's Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?, 1956, depicted the living room collaged with the accoutrements of the idea middle-class lifestyle as it appeared in prevailing media. Both Lichtenstein and Hamilton magnify the artificiality of the idyllic home to humorously expose the false consumerist notion that the accumulation of material goods engenders happiness.
Unlike Hamilton's collage, Lichtenstein's collage depicts a pristine environment free of people and advertisements. Carefully planned yet uninhabited, Lichtenstein's interiors can be seen as abstract interpretations of the subject. As in a magazine layout, every design detail is accounted for and each element sits neatly in its place. Despite the orderliness of the room, the space lacks a key ingredient of the domestic scene -the personal human element. Lichtenstein reveals the alienation sometimes experienced in conventional contemporary life and comments upon the predictability and uniformity among bourgeois American homes.
Lichtenstein places recognizably Contemporary art within this particular interior, including two paintings that undeniably echo his own style. In fact, art is a regular element within these chic interiors, instantly recognizable as luxurious commodities as much as they are tasteful, expected and conventional props within environments such as these. The art is relegated to a part of the calculated decoration, and reduced to a mood-inducing pleasantry as well as a sign of status. Study for Interior with Skyline is cleverly ironic, as well as bitingly sardonic. Lichtenstein's wry assessment of contemporary culture manifests his goal of creating art that reflects a witty and insightful sensibility.