Roy Lichtenstein Abstract Print - Illustration for 'Romanze, or The Music Students' (I) & (II)
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Roy Lichtenstein
Illustration for 'Romanze, or The Music Students' (I) & (II)

1967

About

Two original photolithographs on Mohawk Superfine Smooth paper by American artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) titled "Illustration for 'Romanze, or The Music Students' (I) & (II)", 1967. The complete folio with accompanying poetry. Limited edition: 2,500, (numbered on colophon page). Issued unsigned. Comes from "In Memory of My Feelings: A Selection of Poems" by Frank O'Hara, an unbound book. Printed by Crafton Graphic Company, Inc., New York and published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1967. Collaboration: Edward Katz (printing). Reference: M. L. Corlett, "The Prints of Roy Lichtenstein: A Catalogue Raisonne 1948-1997", (Corlett 47 & 48), pg. 84-85. (I): sheet and image size: 12" x 9.125". (II): sheet size: 12" x 9.125"; image size: 5" x 3". This complete folio is in excellent condition. Extremely rare, scarce. This artwork very rarely hits the market. These two images Lichtenstein contributed to "In Memory of My Feelings: A Selection of Poems" by Frank O'Hara, edited by Bill Berkson, for the Museum of Modern Art. The project was published in 1967 in memory of Frank O'Hara, poet and associate curator at the museum, who died in a tragic accident in 1966. Bill Berkson (with the assistance of Kenneth Koch and John Ashbery) selected the poems and (with advice from Robert Motherwell) asked the following artists to contribute: Nell Blaine, Norman Bluhm, Joe Branaird, John Buton, Giorgio Cavallon, Allan D'Arcangelo, Elaine de Kooning, Willem de Kooning, Niki de Saint-Phalle, Helen Frankenthaler, Jane Freilicher, Michael Goldberg, Philip Guston, Grace Hartigan, Al Held, Jasper Johns, Matsumi Kanemitsu, Alex Katz, Lee Krasner, Alfred Leslie, Roy Lichtenstein, Marisol, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Reuben Nakian, Barnett Newman, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, and Jane Wilson. Each artist was given a copy of the text of the appropriate poem, in gallery-proof form with page layouts, along with a sheet of plastic, called Copyrite, on which to draw. The translucent plastic could be placed directly over the layout to execute the drawing. Plates were then made from the drawings on plastic. All of the drawings are now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. The book, which includes approximately 46 photolithographs, in unbound, housed in off-white linen- and gray paper- covered boards inside an off-white linen-covered slipcase. Each of the 54 folios has printed on the front the folio number, artist's name, and title of the poem. The image is printed on the left side of the interior of the folio, with the poem text on the right. The book was designed by Susan Draper Tundisi. The folder and slipcase were fabricated by Russell-Rutter, Inc.. American artist Roy Lichtenstein was born in New York City on October 27, 1923, and grew up on Manhattan's Upper West Side. In the 1960s, Lichtenstein became a leading figure of the new Pop Art movement. Inspired by advertisements and comic strips, Lichtenstein's bright, graphic works parodied American popular culture and the art world itself. He died in New York City on September 29, 1997. Lichtenstein was committed to his art until the end of his life, often spending at least 10 hours a day in his studio. His work was acquired by major museum collections around the world, and he received numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the National Medal of Arts in 1995. In 2013 the painting "Woman with Flowered Hat" set another record at $56.1 million as it was purchased by British jeweller Laurence Graff from American investor Ronald O. Perelman. This was topped in November of 2015 by the sale of "Nurse" for 95.4 million dollars at Christie's auction.

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Dimensions
    H 12 in. x W 9.125 in.H 30.48 cm x W 23.18 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Somerset, VA
  • Reference Number
    LU12123602242
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About Roy Lichtenstein (Artist)

Roy Lichtenstein is one of the principal figures of the American Pop art movement, along with Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Claes Oldenburg and Robert Rauschenberg. Drawing inspiration from comic strips, Lichtenstein appropriated techniques commercial printing in his paintings, introducing a vernacular sensibility to the visual landscape of contemporary art. He employed visual elements such as the halftone dots that comprise a printed image, and a comic-inspired use of primary colors gave his paintings their signature “Pop” palette.


Born and raised in New York City, Lichtenstein enjoyed Manhattan’s myriad cultural offerings and comic books in equal measure. He began painting seriously as a teenager, studying watercolor painting at the Parsons School of Design in the late 1930s, and later at the Art Students League, where he worked with American realist painter Reginald Marsh. He began his undergraduate education at Ohio State University in 1940, and after a three year-stint in the United States Army during World War II, he completed his bachelor’s degree and then his master’s in fine arts. The roots of Lichtenstein’s interest in the convergence of high art and popular culture are evident even in his early years in Cleveland, where in the late 1940s, he taught at Ohio State, designed window displays for a department store and painted his own pieces.


Working at the height of the Abstract Expressionist movement in the 1950s, Lichtenstein deliberately eschewed the sort of painting that was held in high esteem by the art world and chose instead to explore the visual world of print advertising and comics. This gesture of recontextualizing a lowbrow image by importing it into a fine-art context would become a trademark of Lichtenstein’s artistic style, as well as a vehicle for his critique of the concept of good taste. His 1963 painting Whaam! confronts the viewer with an impact scene from the 1962 DC Comic All American Men of War. Isolated from its larger context, this image combines the playful lettering and brightly colored illustration of the original comic with a darker message about military conflict at the height of the cold war. Crying Girl from the same year featured another of Lichtenstein’s motifs — a woman in distress, depicted with a mixture of drama and deadpan humor. His work gained a wider audience by creating a comic-inspired mural for the New York State Pavilion of the 1964 World's Fair, he went on to be represented by legendary New York gallerist Leo Castelli for 30 years.


In the 1970s and ’80s, Lichtenstein experimented with abstraction and began exploring basic elements of painting, as in this 1989 work Brushstroke Contest. In addition to paintings in which the brushstroke itself became the central subject, in 1984 he created a large-scale sculpture called Brushstrokes in Flight for the Port Columbus International Airport in Ohio. Still Life with Windmill from 1974 and the triptych Cow Going Abstract from 1982 both demonstrate a break from his earlier works where the subjects were derived from existing imagery. Here, Lichtenstein paints subjects more in line with the norms of art history — a pastoral scene and a still life — but he has translated their compositions into his signature graphic style, in which visual elements of printed comics are still a defining feature.


Lichtenstein’s work is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Tate Modern, and many others. He was awarded National Medal of Arts in 1995, two years before he passed away.

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