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    Sale 7619

    Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale

    21 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 225

    Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)

    Collage for Painting in Gold Frame

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)
    Collage for Painting in Gold Frame
    signed 'rf Lichtenstein' (on the reverse)
    acrylic, pencil, painted and printed paper collage on board
    47 7/8 x 37in. (121.6 x 94cm.)
    Executed circa 1984


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    Collage for Painting in Gold Frame is a rare example of Roy Lichtenstein's collages. In an interview shortly before his death in 1997, he explained how he used collage as a flexible working method that allowed easy manipulation: "I start with a sketch in mind and try to do something like that. But as it develops I can see that it could use something more daring in the colour over here, or this could be pushed a little bit up there, and maybe the sizes of the areas aren't right. So, I can easily make changes. I like to be able to manipulate all of this, but I like it to look as though it was never changed, that that's just the way it was, that you guessed right the first time" (Lichtenstein quoted in Some Kind of Reality: Roy Lichtenstein Interviewed by David Sylvester, London 1997, p. 37). Despite their instrumental purpose, Lichtenstein's collages are ambiguous in their nature. He created the present work as a maquette for a print. In signing it, however, he made it clear that he viewed it as a complete work, rather than as an intermediary step towards a larger project.

    Lichtenstein first used the brushstroke motif in the mid-1960s, when it was interpreted as a parody and deconstruction of the bravura gestures of the Abstract Expressionists. His brushstrokes were anything but spontaneous: they were executed with great care and calculation (he made a real brushstroke on acetate, which he then copied on the canvas). Lichtenstein aimed to subvert the notion of the brushstroke as the ultimate manifestation of the artist's soul. He revived this motif in the 1980s, particularly in a group of paintings that challenge our visual perception: Two Paintings: Radiator and Folded Sheets (1983), and Paintings: Mirror, (1984). In a similar vein, Collage for Painting in Gold Frame skillfully creates its own visual tension: between the two-dimensional brushstroke painting and its frame, which, with its gold-foil application, perpetuates an illusion of three-dimensional space.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    Leo Castelli Gallery Inc., New York.
    James Goodman Gallery, New York.
    Waddington Galleries, Ltd., London.
    Anon. sale, Christie's New York, 5 May 1993, lot 288.
    Private Collection, California.
    Hamilton-Selway Fine Arts, Los Angeles.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE SWISS COLLECTION