Roy Lichtenstein - Editions Southampton New York Saturday, June 25, 2022 | Phillips

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  • 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.”1 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

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

    • Provenance

      Private Collection, Los Angeles

    • Literature

      Mary Lee Corlett 288

    • 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.

      View More Works

55

Nude Reading, from Nudes series (C. 288)

1994
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 50/60 in pencil (there were also 12 artist's proofs), published by Tyler Graphics, Ltd., Mount Kisco, New York (with their blindstamp), framed.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $226,800

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Editions Southampton

New York Auction 25 June 2022