Price realised: US$21,530,000
Roy Lichtenstein Nudes in Mirror signed and dated "rf Lichtenstein '94" on the reverse oil and Magna on canvas 100 x 84 in. (254 x 213.4 cm.) Painted in 1994.
Provenance Leo Castelli, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner Exhibited New York, Leo Castelli Gallery, Nudes, November 19 – December 17, 1994 Roslyn Harbor, Nassau County Museum of Art, Feminine Image, March 2 – May 25, 1997, p. 79 (illustrated) Kunsthaus Bregenz, Roy Lichtenstein: Classic of the New, June 12 – September 4, 2005, p. 136-137 (illustrated) Literature Michael Kimmelman, "Disciple of Color and Line, Master of Irony" New York Times, March 31, 1995, pp. C1, C27 (illustrated) Ulrike Breit and Ingo Schertler, "Irre zerstört Bild von Roy Lichtenstein!", Neue Vorarlberger Tageszeitung, September 4, 2005, no. 209, pp. 12-13 (illustrated and on the cover) Graham Bader, Hall of Mirrors, Roy Lichtenstein and the Face of Painting in the 1960s, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2010, p. xvi (illustrated) Video Postscript on the Nude: Roy Lichtenstein's Late Renaissance Following his blockbuster 1993 retrospective at the Guggenheim, Roy Lichtenstein married his signature Benday dots with fresh energy in his late 'Nudes' series. Barbara Castelli and Phillips' Scott Nussbaum discuss one of the best and largest works from this series, 1994's dreamy 'Nude in Mirror', which comes to auction on 16 November. Catalogue Essay Please refer to the supplemental catalogue for additional information. Roy Lichtenstein’s celebrated Nudes series, with comic imagery once again at the center of his oeuvre, marked the artist’s career coming full circle. As the first series Lichtenstein undertook following his comprehensive survey in 1993 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum, the Nudes elegantly encapsulated many of the recurring themes found throughout the artist’s career. In particular, Nudes in Mirror, 1994, stands as one of the best iterations from this series. Lichtenstein offers a nude figure on a dramatic scale rendered in his signature Benday dots. Gently toying with her hair, she gazes dreamily in a mirror that ostensibly captures her own likeness, but also reflects a duplicated image at the mirror’s edge. As such, Nudes in Mirror offers the viewer a perfect distillation of Lichtenstein’s graphic lexicon operating both formally and figuratively, the ultimate erotic punctuation to his final series. “Lichtenstein’s Nudes in Mirror is one of his most frankly voyeuristic works,” critic Harry Cooper wrote. “It provides the perfect rhyme of a dot with a nipple, recalling other sensual rhymes of the dot in his work: with the dimples on a golf ball, the pores in a sponge the circle or a ring about to be enfingered, a peephole.” Lichtenstein was unquestionably among the greatest contributors to Pop Art’s placement in the pantheon of art historical movements. While comic heroines had been a core component of the artist’s practice from the 1960s, as epitomized in such iconic works as Girl with Ball from 1961 and Drowning Girl from 1963, the women captured in Nudes are undeniably more contemporary and erotic iterations of femininity. As critic Avis Berman noted, "The 1990s nudes take pleasure in their own company, without the slightest hint of needing or missing a man. They are not paralyzed by their emotions. In contrast to Lichtenstein's original romance-comic pictures, this world flourishes exuberantly without men or engagement rings or kisses." (“’Joy and Bravura and Irreverence’: Roy Lichtenstein and Images of Women,” Roy Lichtenstein-Classic of the New, exh. cat., Kunsthaus Bregenz, Vienna, 2005, p. 143) As the artist’s last major series before his death in 1997, Nudes in many ways pays homage to Picasso, a major influence on the artist. In particular, Lichtenstein noted the impact of Picasso’s image of Marie Thérèse had on him: “Girl before a Mirror has a special meaning for me. Its strength and color relationships are extraordinary…it reaches a level of discord and intensity that has few parallels.” Picasso’s influence on Lichtenstein can be seen as early as 1964 in Girl in Mirror, which played with notions of object and reflection o
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