Mobile I

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Leo Castelli Gallery, New York
    Akira Ikeda Gallery, New York
    Thomas Segal Gallery, Boston
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1991

  • Exhibited

    Miami, Museum of Contemporary Art, Roy Lichtenstein: Inside/Outside, December 2001 - February 2002, p. 41 (another example exhibited and illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Pop Art was an era-defining movement which emerged in postwar America, and Roy Lichtenstein one of its central players. With his instantly recognisable, tongue-in-cheek artworks based on comics and “low” pop and mass culture imagery, Lichtenstein triumphantly challenged the traditions of fine art and succeeded in the inclusion of a new form of ‘anti-art’ in the canon of art history – “anti-contemplative, anti-nuance, anti-getting-away-from-the-tyranny-of-the-rectangle, anti-movement-and-light, anti-mystery, anti-paint-quality, anti-Zen, and anti all of those brilliant ideas of preceding movements which everyone understands so thoroughly.” (Roy Lichtenstein, quoted in G. R. Swenson, 'What is Pop Art? Interviews with eight painters', Art News 67, November 1963, pp. 25-27)

    Early in his career, buoyed by the ideas of the radical anti-commercial and anti-art 1960s Fluxus movement, Lichtenstein abandoned his experiments in Cubism and Abstract Expressionism and began dabbling in proto-Pop imagery which utilised ‘as found’ cultural objects. He developed an iconic style that appropriated cartoons and advertising imagery to comment on mass culture and consumerism. Lichtenstein and his fellow Pop artists struggled at first to be taken seriously, and were commonly assumed to be an empty, comical counterpoint to the introspective, psychological angst of post-war Abstract Expressionism. But the playful humour of the Pop Art movement belied a sharp art-historical self-consciousness, which utilised irony and parody to offer a critique on the nature of art itself and to break down barriers between art and reality. Lichtenstein explained:

    Pop Art looks out into the world. […] It doesn't look like a painting of something, it looks like the thing itself. […] Pop Art seems to be the actual thing. It is an intensification, a stylistic intensification of the excitement which the subject matter has for me; but the style is, as you said, cool.” (Lichtenstein quoted in G. R. Swenson, 'What is Pop Art? Interviews with eight painters', Art News 67, November 1963, pp. 25-27)

    Throughout his career Lichtenstein played with re-interpreting masterpieces by artists as diverse as Picasso and van Gogh in his signature style, transforming them with same simplified schematic forms, bright colours, bold black outlines and Ben Day dots common to newspaper and magazine printing. In his mature years as an artist he began working on a series of sculptures paying homage to fellow American artist and sculptor Alexander Calder - the first of which was Mobile I. Calder’s distinctive kinetic abstract sculptures were christened ‘mobiles’ by Marcel Duchamp, and Lichtenstein referenced the enduring legacy of Calder’s mobiles in his trademark domestic interior paintings: in one, a Calder mobile stands proudly displayed upon a tabletop (Interior with Mobile, 1992) whilst in another a Calder mobile appears in a painting hung on the wall (Interior With Mobile Painting, 1992). Like Lichtenstein, Calder’s works were avidly collected by the cultural philanthropists Miles and Shirley Fiterman.

    Both artists shared a profoundly whimsical, childlike streak, enhanced by a preference for the same perennially cheerful primary colour palette. In contrast to Calder’s mobiles, which move gracefully with the slightest touch or breeze, Lichtenstein created a ‘mobile’ cast in bronze which remains stubbornly immobile in spite of its three-dimensional form. Lichtenstein, who began creating his distinctively-styled sculptures early in his career after being inspired by New York’s enameled metal subway signs, explained that the essence of sculpture was simply a matter of perspective:

    "There is really not that much difference aesthetically between two and three dimensions to me. I believe sculpture can be seen as a two-dimensional problem...As you turn the sculpture, or move your position, you continually perceive it differently. It’s the relationship of contrast to contrast, rather than volume to volume, which makes it work. So, even though I realise it is three-dimensional, it is always a two-dimensional relationship to me – or as two-dimensional as a drawing is." (Roy Lichtenstein, quoted in G. Celant, Roy Lichtenstein: Sculptor, exh. cat., Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova, Venice, 2013, p. 54)

    Lichtenstein’s ideas and transformative use of appropriation and simplification paved the way for Postmodernism. Today his sculptures and paintings are regarded as generational icons. Throughout his career he was honoured with major institutional retrospectives including ones at the Tate Gallery, London (becoming the first American to exhibit there), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and after his passing at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Centre Pompidou, Paris and the National Gallery, Washington, D.C., amongst others. His works are held in prominent public collections including the National Gallery and the Art Institute of Chicago and are highly sought after by collectors.

  • Catalogue Essay

    波普藝術是在戰後美國興起的、代表並定義該時代的一場藝術風格運動,而羅伊·李奇登斯坦則是其中一名關鍵性的參與者。憑藉他那以漫畫與「低俗」流行和大眾文化中的圖像為基礎而創作的、極具辨識性的反諷的作品,李奇登斯坦成功地挑戰了藝術的傳統,並實現了將一種新的「反藝術」形式納入正統藝術史之中——「反沈思、反細微差別、反擺脫矩形專制、反動態與光線、反神秘、反繪畫品質、反禪宗,以及反對所有被人們所透徹理解的、先前運動中所產生的傑出思想。」(羅伊·李奇登斯坦,摘自G.R.斯文森,《什麼是波普藝術?與八位畫家的訪談》,藝術新聞67,1963年11月,第25-27頁)

    在他職業生涯早期,受到1960年代的激浪派運動中激進的反商業和反藝術思潮的鼓舞,李奇登斯坦放棄了他對立體主義和抽象表現主義的實驗,並開始涉足使用文化「現成」品的波普圖像為原型進行創作。他建立了一種借用卡通和廣告圖像來對大眾文化和消費主義加以評論的標誌性風格。李奇登斯坦和其他波普藝術家一開始並沒有被人們當作一回事,並且被普遍視為對戰後的抽象表現主義內省之心理焦慮的一個空洞、滑稽的對立面。然而波普藝術運動在富有俏皮幽默感的外衣下,實際懷揣著對藝術史清晰的自我意識,這種自我意識利用諷刺和模擬來對藝術的本質自身做出批評,並打破藝術與現實之間的壁壘。李奇登斯坦解釋道:

    「波普藝術朝外看向世界。[…] 它看起來不像是畫了什麼東西,它看起來像是這樣東西本身。[…] 波普藝術看似一件實物。它是一種強化,是題材對我所產生的刺激;一種風格化的強化作用;但這種風格,正如你所說,是很酷的。」(羅伊·李奇登斯坦,摘自G.R.斯文森,《什麼是波普藝術?與八位畫家的訪談》,藝術新聞67,1963年11月,第25-27頁)

    在他整個職業生涯中,李奇登斯坦都在以其標誌性風格來重新演繹包括畢卡索和梵谷等不同類型的大師傑作,用同樣簡化的佈局形式、鮮豔的色彩、粗線條的黑色輪廓,以及在報紙和雜誌印刷中常見的班戴點,來將它們進行改變。在他藝術的成熟時期,他開始創作一個向美國藝術家和雕塑家亞歷山大·考爾德致敬的雕塑系列——其中第一件作品就是《動態雕塑1》。考爾德獨特的動態抽象雕塑的命名源自馬塞爾·杜尚,而李奇登斯坦在他標誌性的家庭室內繪畫中亦指涉了考爾德經久不衰的動態雕塑:其中一幅中,一件考爾德的動態雕塑傲然擺立在桌面(《有動態雕塑的室內》,1992年),而另一幅中,考爾德的動態雕塑則出現在一幅掛在牆面的畫中(《有動態雕塑繪畫的室內》,1992年)。像李奇登斯坦的作品一樣,考爾德的作品也被文化慈善家邁爾斯與雪莉.菲特曼夫婦熱衷地收藏。

    這兩位藝術家同樣具有極度異想天開、充滿童趣的特質,而他們對明亮、原色調所共有的不變的偏好更是讓這一特質越發明顯。與考爾德那輕輕觸碰或者風一吹便優雅地動起來的動態雕塑相反的是,李奇登斯坦所創造的「動態」鑄銅雕塑僅管是三維形式,卻永遠頑固地保持不動。李奇登斯坦在受到紐約地鐵裡的瓷漆金屬標識的啟發之後,在他的職業生涯早期就開始創作他風格獨特的雕塑作品,對於雕塑的本質僅僅是關於視角,他這樣解釋:

    「對我來說,二維和三維之間其實並沒有很大的美學差異。我認為雕塑可以看作是一個二維問題...隨著你去擺弄雕塑,或者轉移你的位置,你對它的認知總是有所不同。這是一種對比與對比的關係,而不是體積與體積的關係,也正是因此它才有這樣的作用。所以,僅管我意識到它是三維的,它對我來說始終都是一種二維的關係——或者說就像素描是二維的一樣。」(羅伊·李奇登斯坦,摘自G.賽蘭特,《羅伊·李奇登斯坦:雕塑家》,展覽畫冊,Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova基金會,威尼斯,2013年,第54頁)

    李奇登斯坦對挪用和簡化的想法和變革性的使用為後現代主義鋪平了道路。今天,他的雕塑和繪畫被視為具有時代性的標誌。在他整個職業生涯中,他曾多次在重要的公共機構舉辦過回顧展,包括在倫敦泰特美術館(成為第一位在那裡做展覽的美國人),紐約所羅門·R·古根漢美術館及現代藝術博物館,並且包括在他去世後在芝加哥藝術博物館,巴黎的蓬皮杜藝術中心,以及華盛頓特區的國家藝廊等等。他的作品被許多重要的公共機構所收藏,其中包括國家藝廊和芝加哥藝術博物館,並備受收藏家們的追捧。

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Ο9

Property from the Miles and Shirley Fiterman Collection

Mobile I

1989
incised with the artist's signature, number and date 'rf Lichtenstein 5/6 '89' and stamped with the Tallix foundry mark on the base
painted bronze
76.8 x 89.5 x 21.6 cm. (30 1/4 x 35 1/4 x 8 1/2 in.)
Executed in 1989, this work is number 5 from an edition of 6.

Estimate
HK$4,000,000 - 6,000,000 
€465,000-697,000
$513,000-769,000

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist
Charlotte Raybaud
Head of Evening Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 24 November 2019