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  • Provenance

    Leo Castelli Gallery, New York; Edward Tyler Nahem, New York

  • Exhibited

    Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Roy Lichtenstein: Inside/Outside, December 12, 2001 – February 28, 2002 (another example exhibited)

  • Literature

    B. Clearwater, Roy Lichtenstein: Inside/Outside, Miami, 2001, p. 41, p.l. 30 (one illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Well, it is an involvement with what I think to be the most brazen and threatening characteristics of our culture, things we hate, but which are also powerful in their impingement on us” (R. Lichtenstein, ‘What is Pop Art,’ Art News, Vol. 62, No. 7, November 1963). Roy Lichtenstein references his choice of subject matter and use of juxtaposed oppositions – high and low art, personal and impersonal interpretations. Although Lichtenstein claimed not to maintain intentionally impersonal mannerisms in his creative process, his works reflect a detachment from American consumerist culture of the 1960s. Imagery derived from low art presented in the terms of high art build the theoretical foundation for the work of Roy Lichtenstein. Mobile of 1989 serves as a prime representation of Lichtenstein’s bridging of contrary components of the art world. A clear reference to Alexander Calder, the present lot translates the work of the surrealist artist through the scope of the subsequent movement of Pop Art.
    Roy Lichtenstein’s Mobile of 1989 is significant in the grand oeuvre of the artist as well as the overall progression of art history. A forerunner of the Pop movement, Lichtenstein challenged academic painting and developed a unique visual voice that served as a critique, but not destruction, of the past. Lichtenstein held similarities to other Pop artists such as AndyWarhol and James Rosenquist in regards to a programmatic, methodical process of art making. Evident is the artist’s strong influence of comic books and advertising – a theme that remained consistent, the work taking variation in the historical era of critique.The present lot, Mobile, exemplifies the development of Pop art and the culmination of influences and stylistic choices of Lichtenstein.

  • 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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Painted and patinated bronze.

30 x 35 ¾ x 10 ½ in. (76.2 x 90.8 x 26.7 cm).
This work is signed and dated “r.f. Lichtenstein ’89” and numbered of six on the base. This work is from an edition of six.

$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for $398,500

Contemporary Art Part I

13 Nov 2008, 7pm
New York