Roy Lichtenstein - Editions & Works on Paper New York Thursday, June 27, 2024 | Phillips
  • “My interest has always been people.”
    —Inger Elliott

    Treasures from the Estate of Inger and Osborn Elliott


    Inger and Osborn Elliott cultivated an art collection worthy of praise. Their home served as a jewel box of taste, with brightly colored walls adorned with paintings, photographs, and drawings, all delicately and masterfully curated.  The couple's diverse collection reflects their devotion to New York City's cultural, intellectual, and civic spheres, while also spanning a global reach of artistic styles and techniques. Inger, originally from Norway, had a passion for photojournalism that brought her to Southeast Asia, where she documented the Vietnam War from a helicopter. She would later go on to found China Seas, a design firm specializing in batik textiles. Osborn, a revolutionary Newsweek editor and social advocate, went on to become the Dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Trailblazers in their own regard, the Elliotts amassed a collection including rare, early works by Willem de Kooning, Wassily Kandinsky, and Milton Avery, among those by many other innovative modern and post-war painters, photographers, and printmakers.


    Inger and Osborn Elliott

    Inger and Oz's eye for style, together with a casual, chic approach to curation, set them apart from other collectors. It is their charisma that lives on through these artworks, proving that a distinct approach to collecting yields the finest quality. These artworks not only have excellent provenance, but also exhibit a unique rarity and quality, remarkably contemporary despite their age.

     “I don't think the importance of the art has anything to do with the importance of the subject matter. I think importance resides more in the unity of the composition and in the inventiveness of perception.”
    —Roy Lichtenstein

    A perfectly framed vignette of Post-War America at home, Red Lamp sees Lichtenstein build upon his 1990 Interiors Series, a body of work that Leo Castelli acknowledged has become synonymous with the great Pop Artist. As the iconic gallerist once said, "what I see when I stand in front of any interior of Roy’s is a work of an important artist that I immediately recognize: a Calder, a blue sponge sculpture by Yves Klein, a Lichtenstein, a Johns from the eighties…” It was with Leo Castelli Gallery that Lichtenstein co-published this lithograph to benefit the Village Nursing Home, an AIDS and geriatric care facility in New York. Executed in the primary red and yellow hues and simplified comic-book style that launched his early career, Lichtenstein created a print that could only be recognized as his own. Drafted with a high vantage point, Lichtenstein invites the viewer into this imagined living room and evokes the sense that they too can plop into the waiting armchair.  


    Unlike many of his subjects, Lichtenstein’s musings on interior scenes began with prints before he ever rendered paintings of the same theme. On March 15th, 1989, Roy Lichtenstein became artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome. Like many artists before, Rome would be a source of inspiration for Lichtenstein, but unlike his predecessors, the eternal forms of antiquity were not what caught his eye. Rather, Lichtenstein was struck by a furniture advertisement on the side of the road. Intrigued by the simultaneously inviting yet uninhabitable quality of the showroom in the ad, Lichtenstein spent the following evenings thumbing through the yellow pages with a pair of scissors, clipping similarly staged interiors. By removing any context of the interior where this armchair, table, and lamp might reside, in Red Lamp Lichtenstein conjures the furniture advertisements that initially inspired his Interior Series published with Gemini G.E.L. in 1990.


    However, unlike the prints in the Interior Series, which depict elaborate scenes full of pattern, texture, and self-referential details, Red Lamp reflects the editorial decision often made by mid-century advertisers to highlight furniture in a void of negative space – encouraging the consumer to picture the piece of furniture in their own home. Former Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago Robert Fitzpatrick praised Lichtenstein’s interiors for masterfully displaying “folly of domestic conventions that alternately inspire and reflect these lifeless images.” A classic genre within the artistic canon, Lichtenstein turned to interiors as he became increasingly retrospective in his late career – repeatedly incorporating previous imagery into contemporary works and returning to the 1960’s comic-book style and color palette that that jumpstarted his career and the Pop movement.


    • Literature

      Mary Lee Corlett 279



Red Lamp (C. 279)

Lithograph in colors, on Rives BFK paper, with full margins.
I. 16 x 18 1/2 in. (40.6 x 47 cm)
S. 21 1/2 x 24 in. (54.6 x 61 cm)

Signed, dated and numbered 126/250 in pencil (there were also 40 artist's proofs), co-published by the artist and Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, framed.

Full Cataloguing

$15,000 - 25,000 

Sold for $24,130

Contact Specialist

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 27 June 2024