Roy Lichtenstein - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, October 24, 2023 | Phillips
  • Following their publications, the 11 Pop Artists portfolios quickly became a new center of gravity in the history of American art. These edgy compilations of fresh prints from then-emerging artists like Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann, among others, launched new dialogues as artists engaged printmaking as a way to broadcast novel ideas more broadly. Reverie, from 11 Pop Artists Volume II, signaled the meteoric rise of Roy Lichtenstein and has endured as one of the greatest prizes in all Post-War printmaking.


    Mature and masterful, Lichtenstein’s prints belied any notion that his contributions to the 11 Pop Artists portfolios were experimental forays into printmaking; Reverie demonstrated the years of experimentation that preceded such an ingenious screenprint. In 1948, a seminal exhibition of prints arrived in Cleveland, Ohio and marked the same year that Lichtenstein took up printmaking while a student at Ohio State University. Self-publishing more than 30 editions between 1948 and 1959, Lichtenstein learned the techniques of etching, aquatint, lithography, drypoint, screenprint and woodcut, which would go on to inform his artistic process throughout his career. While working with Original Editions in New York, Lichtenstein participated in the entirety of Reverie’s life cycle, from crafting the preparatory drawings to the printing and proofing. A long history with prints notwithstanding, Lichtenstein regarded his contributions to the 11 Pop Artists portfolios as his very first fine art prints, the culmination of years spent experimenting with a wide variety of printmaking techniques.


    Reverie is the pinnacle of a movement that ushered in a democratic visual vocabulary to American art history. The heroine’s face would have been familiar to contemporaries who would knew it from the 1964 comic Secret Heart, and this central female figure became an avatar for new collectors who were backed by rapid economic expansion in Post-War America. Reproductive techniques and regularized colors more typical of commercial printing delivered a recognizable and conventionally pretty picture that launched a largely ignored language of cartoon imagery into the realm of fine art. Lichtenstein’s musings on popular imagery offered reconsideration of ongoing notions that art should remain cloistered with obfuscated meaning. As Lichtenstein recalled, “There is a relationship between cartooning and people like Miró and Picasso,” and, “I want [my subjects] to come through with the immediate impact of the comics.”

    • Literature

      Mary Lee Corlett 38

Property from a Distinguished Private Collection


Reverie, from 11 Pop Artists, Volume II (C. 38)

Screenprint in colors, on smooth wove paper, with full margins.
I. 27 1/8 x 23 in. (68.9 x 58.4 cm)
S. 30 x 24 in. (76.2 x 61 cm)

Signed and numbered 163/200 in pencil (there were also 50 in Roman numerals and approximately 5 artist's proofs), published by Original Editions, New York, framed.

Full Cataloguing

$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $158,750

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212 940 1220

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 24-26 October 2023