• Post-War & Contemporary Mornin auction at Christies

    Sale 2220

    Post-War & Contemporary Morning Session

    11 November 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 150

    Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)


    Price Realised  


    Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)
    signed and dated 'rf Lichtenstein 86' (on the reverse)
    oil, magna and graphite on canvas
    48 x 36 in. (121.9 x 91.4 cm.)
    Painted in 1986.

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    This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné being prepared by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.

    "All abstract artists try to tell you that what they do comes from nature, and I'm always trying to tell you that what I do is completely abstract. We're both saying something we want to be true."

    (Roy Lichtenstein as quoted in M. Kimmelman, "Life is Short, Art is Long," The New York Times Magazine, 4 January 1998, p. 23).

    "Like Andy Warhol's Soup Cans, Lichtenstein's brushstrokes were, clearly and at first glance, generational icons. They proposed a critique of the immediate past, clearly intending to supersede it without destroying it - to propose something new that would renew the past, as well. Andy's soup-can paintings canned the "soup" of abstract expressionism and identified its purported authenticity with trademark "taste". By straining the signature gesture of New York School painting through a screen of Benday dots, Lichtenstein's paintings proposed the primacy of placement and design over action and urgency--a rather daring proposal, since it only made sense if Lichtenstein's paintings were, in fact, achieved and persuasive objects. Fortunantely, they were. They delivered the effect of high-style American painting coolly through efficacious means, and, in the process, delivered American art from the tyranny of anxious execution and difficult means--from the assumption of psychological dysfunction and tragic destiny that had pervaded post-war practice" (D. Hickey, Roy Lichtenstein Brushstrokes: Four Decades, New York, 2001, p. 10).


    Leo Castelli, New York
    The Mayor Gallery, London
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, October 7, 1986

    Pre-Lot Text



    London, The Mayor Gallery, Roy Lichtenstein: New Paintings and Collages, June-August 1986, no. 5 (illustrated on the cover).