• Post-War & Contemporary Mornin auction at Christies

    Sale 2220

    Post-War & Contemporary Morning Session

    11 November 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 144

    Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)

    Maquette for Small Explosion (Desk Explosion)

    Price Realised  


    Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)
    Maquette for Small Explosion (Desk Explosion)
    signed, inscribed and dated 'rf Lichtenstein '64-'65 (signed '85)' (lower edge)
    painted fiberboard, perforated paper, glue, masking tape and nylon maquette
    20¾ x 14 x 3 in. (52.7 x 35.5 x 7.6 cm.)
    Executed in 1964-1985.

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

    Throughout his career, Lichtenstein re-defined the relationship between reproduction and art. With Maquette for Small Explosion (Desk Explosion), he reproduces his own work this time, translating imagery from his war comic paintings into another medium, while cleverly commenting on the mechanical nature of his working method in the process.

    Appropriating the perforated templates he used to create the Benday dot effect in his paintings, Lichtenstein defines the blast-cloud with points of light instead of paint. Centered by the bright, spiky body of the blast, Maquette for Small Explosion (Desk Explosion) freezes a moment of fire into a floral abstraction, which crackles with Pop energy and newness.


    Letty Lou Eisenhauer, gift of the artist
    Jon Hendricks, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2005

    Pre-Lot Text



    Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Museum of Art, Pop!, June-September 2005.