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Auction: Contemporary Art Day
was auctioned on: 11 May 2012
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Roy Lichtenstein

Archive
Estimate: US$280,000 - US$350,000
Price realised:  US$338,500
Lot number 163, Views: 250

Roy Lichtenstein Water Lilies with Japanese Bridge 1992 enamel on processed and swirled stainless steel, in artist’s frame 83 1/4 x 58 in. (211.5 x 147.3 cm) Signed, dated, and numbered "STA II, rf Lichtenstein '92" on the reverse. This work is a Saff Tech Arts proof number two of two, from an edition of 23 plus one bon a tirer, four printers proofs, two presentation proofs, one archive proof for NGA, and seven artist's proofs.
Provenance Saff Tech Arts, Oxford, Maryland Private collection, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner Exhibited New York, Leo Castelli Gallery, Roy Lichtenstein: Water Lilies, November 21 - December 19, 1992 (another example exhibited) Chicago, Richard Gray Gallery, Roy Lichtenstein: Waterlilies, November 14 - December 31, 1992 (another example exhibited) Literature Saff Tech Artsand Knoedler & Company, Roy Lichtenstein: Water Lilies, exh. cat., Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, 1992 Roy Lichtenstein: Water Lilies, exh. cat., Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, 1992 M. Lee Cortlett, The Prints of Roy Lichtenstein: A Catalogue Raisonné 1948-1997, New York, 2002, no. 264 Catalogue Essay Roy Lichtenstein’s Water Lilies Series of 1992, expanded upon his concept of taking recognizable imagery and manipulating it into his unique style of Pop Art, and with this progression in his career, Lichtenstein suggested that the artwork of French Impressionist painter Claude Monet is as recognizable as any comic book character. In the present lot, Water Lilies with Japanese Bridge, 1992, the artist employs his trademark use of color and form to rework a famed Monet painting, appropriating the legendary artist’s work with a Pop interpretation. Monet was one of several artists who Lichtenstein referenced in his vast oeuvre, stating "I had no programme; I always thought each one [parody] was the last. But then I’d see something like a way of doing a Monet through just dots that would look like a machine-made impressionist painting." (D. Sylvester, Some Kind of Reality, Anthony D’Offay Gallery, London, 1997). Based on this sentiment, the present lot depicts Monet’s sense of reflection in the water through diagonal lines juxtaposed alongside the artist’s signature Ben-day dots and patterns of the stainless steel medium. This technique gives the water a rippling affect and a sense of movement, as Monet so cleverly did in his original painting, while maintaining Lichtenstein’s artistic contemporary style. Although he incontrovertibly extolled Monet and his well known body of Impressionist work, Lichtenstein represented the artist through what he called a "machine-made" quality. Of this representation, Lichtenstein concludes, "…all my subjects are always two-dimensional or at least they come from two-dimensional sources… the painting itself becomes an object, a thing, like a sculpture, in its own right, not an illusion of something else. And what I’ve been trying to say all this time is similar: that even if my work looks like it depicts something, it’s essentially a flat two-dimensional image, an object." (M. Kimmelman, Portraits: Talking with Artists at the Met, The Modern, The Louvre, and Elsewhere, New York, 1998). Read More

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Phillips
Title: Contemporary Art Day
Date of the auction: 11 May 2012
Address: Phillips
New York