Estimate: US$6,000,000 - US$8,000,000
Price realised: US$6,578,500
Roy Lichtenstein Still life with Mirror 1972 Oil and Magna on canvas. 96 1/2 x 54 in. (245.1 x 137.2 cm.) Signed and dated “Roy Lichtenstein ‘72” on the reverse.
Provenance Leo Castelli Gallery (LC 643), New York; Sydney and Frances Lewis Foundation, Richmond; Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris; Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London; Private Collection; Sotheby’s, New York, Contemporary Art, Part I, May 14, 1998, lot 26; Private Collection; Christie’s, London, Post -War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, June 20, 2007, lot 57; Private Collection Exhibited New York, Leo Castelli Gallery, Roy Lichtenstein, February 24 - March 10, 1973; Richmond, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Twelve American Painters, 1974 (illustrated); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, In This Academy, April 22 - December 31, 1976, no. 324; Allentown Art Museum, Artist’s Studio in American Painting, 1983-1984, no. 48 (illustrated); Humlebæk, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art; London, Hayward Gallery; Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Roy Lichtenstein — All About Art, August 22, 2003 - February 22, 2005, no. 33 (illustrated in color) Literature J. Cowart, Roy Lichtenstein 1970-1980, New York, 1981, p. 52 (illustrated); M. Holm, ed. Roy Lichtenstein: All About Art, Denmark, 2003, no. 33 (illustrated in color) Catalogue Essay Roy saw through a glass lightly. He worked and played with this vision as his guiding light, an inner compass. He was “all of a piece”, and to see him in his natural habitat, the studio, or playpen, as he liked to call it, was to witness continuity/congruity/coherence. Inspiration was everywhere: the aforementioned coffee cup, the images of ideal blondes, fearless heroes, reddest apples were all grist for the mill. His view of a painting obscured by the play of reflections on its protective glass provided him with a wealth of ideas. Are we looking at the reflection of a window in a mirror or through the window itself? Is that a mirror of a painting or a painting of a mirror? Or as Roy might say, only marks on canvas, a group of artfully placed lines and shapes symbolizing mirrorness? Are we outside looking in, or inside looking out? (Dorothy Lichtenstein in “The Misanthrope Manque: Through a Glass Lightly in Roy Lichtenstein: Interiors”) Roy Lichtenstein’s singular contribution to the visual arts is incomparable. Boldly entering the art world in the early 1960s, Lichtenstein’s arresting images drew inspiration from all forms of mass produced printed materials. Rendering his subjects on the increased scale of painting altered the experience of the economical use of line and color that so defined inexpensive publishing. The visual impact of this shift combined with his radically reduced palette still reverberates today. His work is the definition of Pop and forcefully declared a new era in the history of art. Throughout the decade, Lichtenstein explored an array of compositions derived from newspapers, sale circulars and newsstand publications. He voraciously culled inspiration from the everyday imagery of the times and compiled his source material into composition books. From these sources, Lichtenstein produced interior scenes, portraits of consumer products, and filmic scenes transformed from the pages of comic books. Sardonically addressing the rampant consumerism and commercialization of the time, he was able to imbue his work with a deep pathos. He accentuates this banality, throwing it into sharp contrast with stark bold lines and a vibrant, primarycolored palette. Lichtenstein had the unique ability to take mechanized images and humanize them, creating domestic, emotional narratives. Having created some of the most unforgettable images of the latter half of the 20th century, by the middle of the 1960s he had achieved a facility and sophistication in working from the printed page, culminating in images of single female heads. At the same time, Lichtenstein began explorations of seascapes, landscapes and sunsets, looking for new inspiration after having exhausted some of the possibilities of his earlier subject matter. Lichtenstein continued
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