Estimate: US$2,500,000 - US$3,500,000
Price realised: n. a.
Roy Lichtenstein Metallic Brushstroke Head 1994 nickel plated bronze, painted with enamel 83 x 24 x 22 in. (210.8 x 61 x 55.9 cm.) base 3 x 21 1/2 x 21 1/2 in. (7.6 x 54.6 x 54.6 cm.) Signed, inscribed, numbered and dated "rf Lichtenstein '94 AP 1/2 W.W.F." on the base. This work is artist proof 1 from an edition of 6 plus 2 artist's proofs.
Provenance Acquired directly from the artist Private Collection Exhibited Salzburg, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, “The Muse?” Transforming the Image of Women in Contemporary Art, July 22 – September 2, 1995 (another example exhibited) Mexico City, Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Roy Lichtenstein: Imágenes Reconocibles: Escultura, Pintura y Grafica, July 9 – October 18, 1998, then traveled to Monterrey, Museo De Arte Contemporaneo De Monterrey, A. C. (November 5, 1998 – January 31, 1999), Washington D.C., The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Roy Lichtenstein: Sculptures & Drawings, June 5 – September 30, 1999, Lisbon, Centro Cultural de Belem (May 11 – August 15, 2000), Valencia, Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM), (October 21 – January 9, 2000),La Coruña, Fundación Pedro Barrié de la Maza (January 27 – April 23, 2000) (another example exhibited) Providence, Brown University, Lichtenstein Sculpture and Prints, September 7 – October 27, 2002 (another example exhibited) New York, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Roy Lichtenstein: Brushstrokes, Four Decades, November 1, 2001 – January 12, 2002, then traveled to Zurich, de Pury & Luxembourg (March 13 – June 18, 2002) (another example exhibited) London, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, Roy Lichtenstein: Last Still Life and Other Works, March 3 – 27, 2004 (another example exhibited) London, Gagosian Gallery, Roy Lichtenstein: Sculpture, June 6 – August 6, 2005, then traveled to New York, Gagosian Gallery (September 16 – October 22, 2005) (another example exhibited) Literature “The Muse?” Transforming the Image of Women in Contemporary Art, exh. cat., Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, 1995, p. 96 (illustrated) Roy Lichtenstein: Sculptures & Drawings, exh. cat., The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 1999, p. 180, no. 137 (illustrated) Roy Lichtenstein: Sculpture, exh. cat., Gagosian Gallery, London, 2005, p. 99 (illustrated) J. Dobrzynski, “In Search of ‘Unknown Roy,’” ARTNews, May 2006, p. 60 (illustrated) Catalogue Essay “I mean a brush-stroke really doesn't look anything like these things: you'd have black lines around solid color’s, and it just isn't anything like a brush-stroke any more than a cartoon head is like a head.” ROY LICHTENSTEIN, 1966 Roy Lichtenstein is an American icon of the Pop Art movement, and the present lot, created later in his prestigious career, perfectly exemplifies his well-defined style. Drawing his source materials from a myriad of comic strips and advertisement clippings, Lichtenstein based his artistic language on an already recognizable lexicon of commercial art. Lichtenstein’s brushstroke motif arose in 1965 shortly after his famous Benday-Dot, a pattern implemented in advertising printing process. The brushstroke and Benday-Dot both originated from comic strip imagery, which Lichtenstein duplicated on an enormous scale to emphasize the abstraction inherent in these commercial illustrations. David Hickey states that “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.” (D. Hickey, “Brushstrokes,” from Brushstrokes: Four Decades, New York, 2002, p. 10) Lichtenstein’s artistic process depended on this amplification and arrangement of his source images; typically the source images were created to sell an item or to tell a simplified comic book story. By re-appropriating these bits of imagery, Lichtenstein monumentally compressed emotion and action into a stylized, often highly ironic, icon. Triggered by a comic strip entitled “The Painting” in Charlton Comics’ Strange Suspense Stories in October 1964, this stylized brushstroke emerged as one of Lichtenstein’s most renowned motifs. In “The Painting,” a young painter attempts to paint the face of a man. Once the figure is rendered, the canvas comes to life and the figure speaks to his creator. The artist, terrified by what
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