Roy Lichtenstein - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, April 18, 2023 | Phillips
  • Roy Lichtenstein’s Nudes Series was the final major series the artist produced before his death in 1997. The nine prints consider the traditional art historical genre of the female nude through the lens of Pop Art and mark Lichtenstein’s return to his iconic 1960s comic book style, consisting of Benday dot patterns, bright colors, and bold lines. Published and printed by Tyler Graphics Ltd., Mount Kisco, New York, Lichtenstein referenced his own oeuvre, integrating motifs found in earlier works from the Reflections, Imperfect, Water Lily, and Interiors Series. After four decades of radically probing fundamental questions of art and artmaking, it was apt for him to select the female nude as a symbol of returning to the beginning of both his oeuvre and art history.


    Since Lichtenstein did not draw from live models when creating his Nudes Series, he appropriated his figures from printed sources, taking comic books characters and reimagining them in the nude. The composition of Nude Reading is derived from the November 1963 edition of Girls’ Romances, a romance comic anthology, published by DC Comics during the Golden Age of comic books. While the narratives presented in Girls’ Romances focus on themes such as marriage, the women in Lichtenstein’s Nudes “take pleasure in their own company without the slightest hint of needing or missing a man.”i Lichtenstein reimagined the subject of the female nude within a 1990s context and the series itself is perhaps reflective of wider societal changes. Nonetheless, Lichtenstein emphasized the fictitious nature of these scenes through the application of his Pop Art style.


    “Lichtenstein’s work… is not so much about the subject matter as about what his treatment outlines, unmodulated color, Benday dotes – does to the subject.”
    —Marina Isola, Going Dotty over Roy Lichtenstein, 1995


    iAvis Berman, Roy Lichtenstein: Classic of the New, exh. cat., Kunsthaus Bregenz, Vienna, 2005, p. 143.

    • Literature

      Mary Lee Corlett 288


Nude Reading, from Nudes series (C. 288)

Relief print in colors, on Rives BFK paper, with full margins.
I. 23 7/8 x 30 1/4 in. (60.6 x 76.8 cm)
S. 30 1/2 x 36 1/4 in. (77.5 x 92.1 cm)

Signed, dated, and numbered 4/60 in pencil (there were also 12 artist's proofs), published by Tyler Graphics, Ltd., Mount Kisco, New York (with their blindstamp), framed.

Full Cataloguing

$120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for $203,200

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Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 18 - 20 April 2023