Roy Lichtenstein - Evening & Day Editions London Thursday, September 21, 2023 | Phillips
  • “Brushstrokes are almost a symbol of art. The Brushstrokes paintings also resemble Abstract Expressionism. Of course visible brushstrokes in a painting convey a sense of grand gesture; but in my hands, the brushstrokes become a depiction of a grand gesture.”
    —Roy Lichtenstein

    In Brushstroke (1965), Lichtenstein continued his extended enquiry into the very nature of the brushstroke and its perceived importance in an art historical context. While expressive brushstrokes were revered by the Abstract Expressionists and art critics alike in post-war America, Lichtenstein’s satirical response was to parody this gestural mark through his antithetical Pop Art approach. Starting in the 1960s and exemplified in the present lot, Lichtenstein stripped the brushstroke back to its purest form, and rendered it in a highly mechanised style. In doing so, he intentionally distanced the brushstroke from its association with the artist’s hand, and thus with the concept of individual genius, which was so often bestowed on Abstract Expressionist painters like Jackson Pollock. Through adopting a highly graphic and seemingly mass-produced aesthetic, Lichtenstein’s Brushstroke demonstrates the artistic possibilities afforded to him by the Pop Art style, while his elevation of the transformed brushstroke satirically critiques the emphasis placed on the gestural mark within the art historical canon.

    • Provenance

      Sims Reed Gallery, London, 2007
      Private Collection, New York
      Phillips New York, Editions & Works on Paper, 24 April 2018, lot 72
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

    • Literature

      Mary Lee Corlett II.5

Property From A Private UK Collection


Brushstroke (C. II.5)

Screenprint in colours, on heavy wove paper, with full margins.
I. 56.2 x 72.1 cm (22 1/8 x 28 3/8 in.)
S. 58.2 x 73.5 cm (22 7/8 x 28 7/8 in.)

Signed and annotated 'H.C.' and 'E' in pencil (one of approximately 15 hors commerce impressions, the edition was 280), published by Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, framed.

Full Cataloguing

£10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for £20,320

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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 21 - 22 September 2023