Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)
Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)
Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)
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On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more The Collection of Morton and Barbara Mandel, sold to benefit the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation
Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)

Interior with Water Lilies (Study)

Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)
Interior with Water Lilies (Study)
signed and dated 'rf Lichtenstein '91' (on the reverse)
printed and painted paper collage, graphite, ink and tape on paperboard
image: 31 1/8 x 44 1/8 in. (79.1 x 112.1 cm.)
sheet: 38 3/8 x 51 ¼ in. (97.5 x 130.2 cm.)
Executed in 1991.
The artist
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York
Laura Carpenter Fine Art, Santa Fe
PaceWildenstein, New York
Acquired from the above by the late owners, 1996
Vienna, Galerie Ulysses, Roy Lichtenstein: Interiors, February-March 1992. 
Santa Fe, Laura Carpenter Fine Art, Roy Lichtenstein: Paintings and Collages, 1960–1993, June-July 1993.
Special notice
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.

Brought to you by

Emily Kaplan
Emily Kaplan

Lot Essay

This work will be included in the Catalogue Raisonné being prepared by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.

Roy Lichtenstein's Study for Interior with Water Lilies is part of a series of pictures depicting living rooms and bedrooms executed in the early 1990s, when the artist was in his late sixties. As one of the last major series produced before the artist's death, these works represent a culmination of Lichtenstein's method of appropriating images from popular media.

This present work on paper is one of the final preparatory studies for the large Interior with Water Lilies oil painting currently in the collection of Tate Britain. This study artfully displays Lichtenstein’s meticulous working process and the careful rendering that went into the preparation of his paintings, further highlighting importance of works on paper within the artist’s wider oeuvre. The viewer is easily enraptured by the various elements within the interior setting, whether it be the intricate patterning in the carpet or wall, or the geometric rendering of quotidian bedroom furniture, it is impossible to miss the careful attention to detail Lichtenstein paid to every element of an interior space. The painting Water Lilies, visible on the left-hand side of our work, is a reference to the famous Impressionistic series of Water Lilies painted by Claude Monet. Interestingly, a year later Lichtenstein would dedicate a whole series of printed works to this famous series by Monet, paying homage but also rethinking the same imagery in more industrialized and modern, Pop Art aesthetic.

Appropriation, mixing quotidian and high-brow culture, and playing with cultural clichés – elements that appear in Lichtenstein’s oeuvre throughout his entire career – play a particularly important role in this study and the Interior series generally. Seductive commercial images of the modern home interior formed the inspirational basis of the Interior series. While Lichtenstein served as an 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. The artist would cut out illustrations and images from advertisements for furniture and design companies, collect them in his sketchbook and then transfer, stylize and blow them up to incorporate them into his studies and paintings.

The furniture in this work, the bed, nightstands, and dresser all appear generic, simplified, and resemble a hotel interior or a life-style magazine spread, while the patterns on the walls and floors and the humorous nod to the Water Lilies painting render a more stylized and decorative aesthetic. It is this careful juxtaposition of the mundane and the ornate that brings liveliness and humor to the forefront. Simultaneously jovial and deeply reflective, Interior with Water Lilies artfully displays Lichtenstein’s profound interest in the material and visual culture of the twentieth century.

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