Roy Lichtenstein - Evening & Day Editions London Tuesday, June 14, 2022 | Phillips

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  • In 1893 Claude Monet purchased a new plot of land adjacent to his home in Giverny, Normandy, for the sole purpose of creating a water garden. By enlarging his existing pond and filling it with exotic new water lilies, the artist went about building an environment he described as, ‘both for the pleasure of the eye and for the purpose of having subjects to paint'. Within the flourishing oasis, he built a humpback footbridge, inspired by the Japanese prints imported into France in the 1867 Paris International Exposition. The artist went on to paint over 250 canvases of his newly beloved subject throughout his later career, crowned by his grandes decorations, the vast circular installation works now hanging in the Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris.

     

    Claude Monet, Waterlilies, Morning, 1914-18, Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris. Image: Bridgeman Images
    Claude Monet, Waterlilies, Morning, 1914-18, Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris. Image: Bridgeman Images

    In Les Nymphéas Roy Lichtenstein pays homage to Monet’s Water-Lilies. Using his signature Ben-day dots, strident colours, and graphic lines, the artist cleverly references the beacon of art history. Adopting the Impressionist device of cropping, Lichtenstein focuses on floating buds as they bloom above the waters surface. Juxtaposing dots with diagonal lines, interrupted by swathes of flat black and white colour, the artist achieves the impression of reflection and rippling to the water on his two-dimensional plane.

     

    Using Monet as source, Lichtenstein suggests that the artwork of the 19th century master is as recognizable as any comic book character. Turning to the same subject at the same time in his life, Lichtenstein’s water lily series represents the culmination of the artists creative development, with the introduction of a wider tonal range into his last works.

    '… I’d see something like a way of doing a Monet through just dots that would look like a machine-made impressionist painting.' —Roy Lichtenstein

    • Provenance

      Private Collection, Monaco

    • Literature

      Mary Lee Corlett 280

    • 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

62

Les nymphéas (The Water Lilies) (C. 280)

1993
Linocut, woodcut, lithograph and screenprint in colours, on Arches Cover paper, with full margins.
I. 66.7 x 91 cm (26 1/4 x 35 7/8 in.)
S. 78.8 x 102.4 cm (31 x 40 3/8 in.)

Signed, dated and numbered 19/100 in pencil (there were also 25 artist's proofs), co-published by the artist and Éditions de la Tempête, Paris, for the benefit of Médecins du Monde, framed.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
£20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for £52,920

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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 14-15 June 2022