Roy Lichtenstein - Evening & Day Editions London Wednesday, September 14, 2022 | Phillips

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  • 'Visible brushstrokes in a painting convey a sense of grand gesture; but in my hands, the brushstroke becomes a depiction of a grand gesture' —Roy LichtensteinA pioneer of Pop Art in the United States, the graphic qualities of Roy Lichtenstein’s art and the bold, primary colours he used helped define an aesthetic for the burgeoning movement in the 1960s. Famed for his comic-book motifs and his use of Ben-Day dots, Lichtenstein’s works are recognised for their mechanical appearance. In direct contrast to the Abstract Expressionists that proceeded the movement, Pop Art often celebrated a mass-produced and industrial aesthetic, devoid of brushstrokes and other explicit indications of the artist’s hand. At Pop Art’s inception, it was this difference that was attacked by critics, who initially viewed the works of Lichtenstein and his contemporaries as empty, vulgar, and highly controversial for their diversions from what was considered to be high art. Regardless of such statements, Pop Art continued to flourish, with Lichtenstein becoming one of the most revered American artists of the twentieth century. However, Lichtenstein satirically responded to early criticisms throughout his career. Firstly, in his Brushstrokes series of 1965-66, where he elevated the gestural brushstrokes of the Abstract Expressionists to the main subject matter of his paintings and parodied them in a heavily mechanised style. Secondly, he frequently revisited paintings from the art historical canon in order to breakdown the distinction between high and low art and to demonstrate the possibilities that the Pop Art aesthetic afforded to him. These two approaches converge to great effect in Lichtenstein’s Landscape Series of 1984-85, which includes View from the Window (1985).


    Pierre Bonnard, Open Window in Uriage, 1918.
    Image: Luisa Ricciarini / Bridgeman Images

    In View from the Window, Lichtenstein takes a favoured subject matter of the Post-Impressionists and Fauvists and transforms it using his unique visual vocabulary. Compositionally recalling works such as Henri Matisse’s Open Window, Collioure (1905) or Pierre Bonnard’s Open Window in Uriage (1918), Lichtenstein cleverly evokes the brushstrokes of his predecessors through the processes of screenprinting and lithography. This incredibly complex procedure involved the artist first painting the brushstrokes on vellum, using a mixture of powdered pigment and manga. The brushstrokes he created were then transferred on to photo-sensitised plates or screens to retain the fluidity and texture of the original stroke. Through this method, Lichtenstein was able to emulate the presence of the artist’s hand, contrasting this with the graphic woodcut lines which also feature in the image. In doing so, Lichtenstein demonstrates Pop Art’s ability to produce works of equal quality and skill to the venerated French modernists, all the while maintaining some of the graphic qualities that gave Pop Art such a contemporary edge. Attesting to Lichtenstein’s success in championing a Pop Art aesthetic and eradicating the gaps between perceived high and low art, a proof of View from the Window aside of the edition of sixty resides in the Museum of Modern Art’s collection in New York.

    View from the Window is one of six prints that make up Lichtenstein’s Landscape Series. Other images from the series include The Sower – a work directly inspired by Vincent van Gogh's painting of the same title – and The River, which recalls Impressionist depictions of the Seine, such as Edouard Manet’s The Seine at Argenteuil (1874) or Gustave Caillebotte’s Factories at Argenteuil (1888). Outside of this series, Lichtenstein created his own iterations of Monet’s Rouen Cathedral and Haystacks in 1968 and 1969 respectively, demonstrating a sustained interest in applying the Pop Art aesthetic to seminal works in the art historical canon. Created at a time when Pop Art was already an accepted and highly celebrated movement, View from the Window highlights Lichtenstein’s unwavering promotion of his visual language and the skill required to produce such works.

    • Provenance

      Robert Fontaine Gallery, Florida
      Private Collection, Florida
      Acquired directly from the above by the present owner

    • Literature

      Gemini G.E.L. 1257
      Mary Lee Corlett 215

Property from a Private European Collection


View from the Window, from Landscapes (Gemini G.E.L. 1257, C. 215)

Lithograph, woodcut and screenprint in colours, on Arches 88 paper, with full margins.
I. 193.5 x 77 cm (76 1/8 x 30 3/8 in.)
S. 201.2 x 85.4 cm (79 1/4 x 33 5/8 in.)

Signed, dated and numbered 47/60 in pencil (there were also 11 artist's proofs), published by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles (with their blindstamps), framed.

Full Cataloguing

£60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for £75,600

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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 14 - 15 September 2022