Alice Karle Appraisal

Fine & Decorative Art

Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein
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Roy Lichtenstein

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Of the Pop artists in the 1960s, Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) is among the most widely known and recognized, surpassed only by Andy Warhol. Closely associated with the New York scene, his images are iconic. His work often mimicked comic book panels, exploded in size, and showing the mechanical means by which they were produced, such as Benday screen. His style is avant garde, and yet at the same time has a humor and wit that makes it accessible to the viewer. Lichtenstein was a prolific producer of lithographs as well as painting, and sculpture. His work is extensively represented in important private and museum collections. Among my personal favorites is his 1977 sculpture Goldfish Bowl, referencing the fish bowl employed as a motif by Matisse in his paintings. Goldfish Bowl is on display at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles. The Broad Museum has an extensive collection of Pop Art which also includes Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol.

Roy Lichtenstein’s art employed a new visual vocabulary, derived from and representing his cultural surrounding, rather than the feelings of the artist. He said: I like to pretend that my art has nothing to do with me.

Although best known for Pop images, beginning in 1965 Roy Lichtenstein also worked in an abstract style, of which this lithograph is an example. Unlike abstract expressionists such as Michael Goldberg and Jackson Pollock, Lichtenstein’s abstract work is hard edged and static.

The lithograph pictured here is titled, Best Buddies. It was printed in 1991, and signed and dated by Lichtenstein. The edition comprised 100 numbered copies, 10 artist’s proofs, and 5 printer’s proofs.