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Auction: Contemporary Art Evening
was auctioned on: 8 March 2012
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Roy Lichtenstein

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Estimate: US$350,000 - US$450,000
Price realised:  US$302,500
Lot number 21, Views: 244

Roy Lichtenstein Brushstroke Still Life with Lamp 1997 screenprint, with hand-painted Magna on honeycomb-core aluminum panel, in a white wood artist’s frame 54 x 72 1/2 in. (137.2 x 184.2 cm) Signed, numbered and dated “pp 2/3, rf Lichtenstein, ‘97” along the right edge. This work is printer proof number two from an edition of 24 plus eight artist’s proofs, and three printer proofs.
Provenance Staff & Company, New York Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London Sale: Christie's, London, Post-War & Contemporary Art, June 23, 2006, lot 129 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner Exhibited London, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, Roy Lichtenstein: Last Still Life and Other Works, March 3 - March 27, 2004 (another example exhibited) New York, Jacobson Howard Gallery, Selections from Gallery Artists, July 1 - July 19, 2008 (another example exhibited) Literature Roy Lichtenstein’s Last Still Life, Milan, Galleria Lawrence Rubin, 1998, no. 3 (another example illustrated) Roy Lichtenstein, New York, Lawrence Rubin Greenberg Van Doren Fine Art, 1999, no. 3 (another example illustrated) M.L. Corlett, The Prints of Roy Lichtenstein: A Catalogue Raisonné 1948-1997, New York, 2002, p. 276, no. 308 (another example illustrated) M. S. Kushner, Donald Saff: Art in Collaboration, Munich, 2010, pp. 162-165 (another example illustrated) Catalogue Essay Roy Lichtenstein is an artist forever synonymous with Pop Art, immortalizing his contributions to the Contemporary Art world with his distinctive use of popular cartoon imagery and commercial painting techniques. Although the 1960s related Lichtenstein to comic book images of beautiful girls and men at war, he continued to make new and innovative work for almost three decades following. Beginning in the early 1970s, he began to work on still lifes, appropriating them from the highly respected historical genre of the Seventeenth Century and updating them with his best known style: signature primary colors and simulated Ben-Day dots. Lichtenstein would use postcards or reproductions of original works to create his own unique versions, rendering his still lifes in flat, outlined shapes that were inspired by newspaper and print advertisements but painted to look like the original. As seen in the present lot, Brushstroke Still Life with Lamp, 1997, Lichtenstein’s still lifes cover a plethora of themes, including the most traditional from the genre such as vases, lamps, flowers, or fruit. He also created still lifes from contemporary every day motifs, including the contents of his art studio as well as the intentionally mundane Office Still Lifes. Later, he began to reference other art-historical movements in these works, as he had done in past projects, such as rendering a still life that exhibited Impressionism, Abstract Expressionism, or Cubism coupled with his own signature comic book style. Lichtenstein barrowed many formal elements from the masters who preceded him. As seen in Matisse’s Tulips and Oysters on a Black Background, 1943, which depicts a tabletop covered with strewn about objects, including a vase, bottle, lemons, and a platter of oysters, Lichtenstein adopted the way the French master brilliantly depicted everyday objects in a casual and natural arrangement. Additionally, the positioning and cropping of the table, as well as the geometric background of the present lot, seem very much inspired by Matisse’s painting. This period of Lichtenstein’s career allowed the great artist to travel back in art history and bring a venerated genre back to life in the contemporary world of art. The still life emerged in painting during a time of highly religious subject matter in art. With the spread of Protestantism in Holland and the rejection of the Catholic Baroque style, Dutch artists began to focus on secular subjects to which there were no objections on religious grounds. As a result, the Dutch have become the most famous for their still lifes, portraits, landscapes, interiors and genre painting. Paintings depicting the natural world were so characteristic of the Netherlands at this time, that during the seventeenth century the Dutch words stilleven and landschap were adopted into English as “still life” and “landscape.” At this time in the Seventeenth Century, artists tended to specialize narrowly, often concentrating in one subject, allowing them to master their niche. Willem Ka

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Phillips
Title: Contemporary Art Evening
Date of the auction: 8 Mar 2012
Address: Phillips
New York