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  • 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).

  • Artist Biography

    Roy Lichtenstein

    One of the most influential and innovative American artists of the post-war period, Roy Lichtenstein ushered in the prominence of Pop Art through his high-impact representations of consumer imagery, common entertainment, and the accoutrements of contemporary life rendered in the Ben-Day dots of contemporary comic strips. Central to Lichtenstein’s practice was parody, which enabled the artist to engage with often-disparaged commercial source imagery from an ironic distance as he considered the nature of the banal and probed the boundaries of what fine art could be.


    While Lichtenstein’s early Pop work cemented his status as one of the main figures of one of the most iconic and original movements of postmodernism, he continued to develop his practice over the course of the following decades until his death in 1997. Retaining his characteristic comic style and ironic distance, Lichtenstein engaged new and disparate influences from Abstract Expressionism to Chinese landscape painting to evolve the subject of his own work and consider the contradictions of representation, style, and substance. Lichtenstein is a central figure in the 20th century art historical canon and accordingly his work is represented in the collections of major museums worldwide, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate, London; and Centre Pompidou, Paris.

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Water Lilies with Japanese Bridge

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.

$280,000 - 350,000 

Sold for $338,500

Contemporary Art Day Sale

Contemporary Art Day
11 May 2012
New York