Search for over 80 million sold items in our price database

Two Paintings with Dado
Sold

About the item

From the very outset, Roy Lichtenstein dedicated his career to making art about art. Accompanying his formative transformations of mass-produced comic book scenes into high-art paintings, Lichtenstein exhibited a number of art historical icons rendered in the same hard-edged graphic style in his 1962 critical debut at the Leo Castelli Gallery. Indeed, this art historical branch of his oeuvre constitutes a practice that he continued to pursue for the rest of his career. Of all the modernist canons depicted however from Claude Monet, Piet Mondrian, and Morris Louis through the movements of Cubism, Surrealism, German Expressionism and Purism it was Picasso that proved the most vital for Lichtenstein. So much so that in April 1997, in his last published interview, the Pop pioneer admitted I dont think that Im over his influence (Roy Lichtenstein quoted in: Ira Candela, Picasso in Two Acts, in: Exh. Cat., London, Tate Modern (and travelling), Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, 2012-13,  p. 44).  Belonging to this longstanding concern, first heralded in 1962 by Femme au Chapeau (Lichtensteins first painting after Picasso), Two Paintings with Dado from 1983 announces the continuation of a twenty-year dialogue. The present work however does more than offer respectful reverence for, and an irreverent parody of, Picasso. Akin to Warhol, who at the time was also revisiting his 1960s hay-day, Lichtenstein began appropriating and remixing his own back catalogue during the 1980s. Set within an interior, Lichtenstein re-appropriates his own 1963 version of Picassos Woman with a Flowered Hat (1939-40); brutally cropped this painting appears framed and sits below a dado rail, above which hangs a another framed painting a geometric abstraction that looks like a Jasper Johns flagstone work. In Two Paintings with Dado Lichtensteins assimilation of iconic art historical tropes including his own 1960s canon imparts a complicated strata of appropriation: not only is he copying Picasso, he is copying himself copying Picasso and placing it next to another copy of a Johns in an imagined studio interior or exhibition space. Juxtaposing art historical icons and unifying them via the authors own borrowed comic book aesthetic, Two Paintings with Dado at once reaffirms and furthers Lichtensteins position at the very forefront of appropriation art. Lichtensteins inaugural painting after Picasso came very early in his career and was included in the artists breakthrough exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery in February-March of 1962. This exhibition caused a substantial degree of ambivalence from critics owing to Lichtensteins copyist methods, particularly his apparent attempt at supplanting the master of modern painting. However as curator Ira Candela has explained, these early critics failed to register Lichtensteins announcement of the death of the author: As Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault would soon argue, there is no such thing as an original text, for every work is a complex combination of previous ideas, a polysemic discourse without a single author one could argue that Lichtensteins Picassos force the viewer to abandon outdated questions like Who paints and With what originality (Ira Candela, ibid., 40). Lichtensteins artistic endeavour was far from new. It was Picassos own borrowing such as his recapitulation of Eugène Delacroixs Women of Algers in Their Apartment (1834) for his own Femme dAlger (1955) that first impelled Lichtenstein to so the same. Picasso was often explicit in his irreverence and parody of Old Master paragons; his late work in particular is known for its cannibalistic consumption of masters such as Velazquez, Rembrandt, and El Greco. Taking on the age-old mantle of influence and deviation as Picasso had done before him, the Pop art pioneer affirmed the primacy of artistic discourse in opposition to the singular originality of a lone author from the very outset.\nWhen considering Lichtensteins method, it is clear that his works after Picasso are just as much about their means of production as they are about the modernist painter. Indeed, a further deviation that separates Lichtensteins work from Picasso is his borrowing from cheap mechanical reproductions with distorted colour values. In works such as Still Life after Picasso (1964) Lichtenstein replicated a mechanical simulacrum of a Picasso rather than its original source, and in doing so, foregrounds the attendant fetishism and mystification endemic within commercial replications of venerated artworks. Furthermore, Lichtensteins masterful yet most deceptive transgression remains his faking of the industrial. Though his appropriative riff on Picasso takes on the production values of the mechanically produced the half-tone dots and flat primary colours they are painstakingly worked over by hand.\nInto the 1970s Lichtenstein continued to engage Picasso; however, the works created in this decade exhibit a different manner that moved away from a working after and more towards a working with (Ibid.). In paintings such as Still Life with Picasso (1973) Lichtenstein blends his own compositional elements with those borrowed from Picassos oeuvre to playfully embark upon a free form dialogue with the revered Spanish master. Furthermore, the series of Artists Studios created between 1973-74 imparted another layer of complexity to this genre of metapainting. Taking on the tradition of genre painting, Lichtenstein began referring to his own back catalogue and melding it with other famous painterly icons. For example the early masterpiece Look Mickey (1961) appears above a sofa in furnished domestic interior in Artists Studio Look Mickey from 1973, while Matisses The Dance forms the backdrop of a still life scene of paintbrushes and lemons in Artists Studio The Dance of 1974. With the onset of the 1980s this dialogue entered yet another phase. As exemplified by the present work, during this decade Lichtenstein began painting closely cropped imaginary spaces in which artworks intermingle and coexist side by side. In Two Paintings with Dado, the top section of Lichtensteins 1963 work after Picasso, Woman with Flowered Hat, appears below a Johns flagstone painting. That both paintings are framed and positioned below and above a dado rail suggests that they form part of an imagined installation. In the present work, and many from this reflective moment in Lichtensteins oeuvre, the pioneering Pop artist has not simply painted any old exhibition view he has painted his very own retrospective.\n\nThis work is to be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of the artists work, currently in preparation by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.\nSigned and dated 83 on the reverse
GB
GB
GB

notes

Please note that the provenance should read as per the below and not as stated in the printed catalogue. Leo Castelli Gallery, New York Marvin Ross Friedman & Co. Miami Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, Inc., New York Hope and Howard Stringer, Nashville Guggenheim, Asher Associates, New York Richard Gray Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007

medium

Oil and Magna on canvas

creator

Lichtenstein, Roy

condition

Colour: The colour in the catalogue illustration is fairly accurate, although the reds and blues are slightly more vibrant in the original. Condition: Please refer to the department for a professional condition report. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

dimensions

127.5 by 109 cm. 50 1/4 by 42 7/8 in.

exhibition

New York, Leo Castelli Gallery, Lichtenstein, December 1983 - January 1984, n.p., illustrated in colour Venice, Biennale di Venezia XLI, Art in the Mirror, June - July 1984 New York, Whitney Museum of American Art; San Francisco, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, Picasso and American Art, September 2006 - September 2007, p. 272, no. 139, illustrated in colour Paris, Grand Palais Galeries Nationales, Picasso: Mania, October 2015 - February 2016, p. 168, no. 149, illustrated in colour

literature

Lawrence Alloway, Modern Masters: Roy Lichtenstein, London 1983, p. 102, no. 105, illustrated in colour Exh. Cat., London, Tate Modern (and travelling), Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, May 2012 - November 2013, p. 41 (text)

provenance

Leo Castelli Gallery, New York Marvin Ross Friedman & Co. Miami Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, Inc., New York Hope and Howard Stringer, Nashville Guggenheim, Asher Associates, New York Richard Gray Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007

signedDate

Signed and dated 83 on the reverse

artist_range_end

1997

artist_range_start

1923

creator_nationality_dates

1923 - 1997


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


Advert
Advert

Sold items

Three Studies of George Dyer
Sold

Three Studies of George Dyer

Realized Price
38,614,000 USD

Two Studies for a Self-Portrait
Sold

Two Studies for a Self-Portrait

Realized Price
34,970,000 USD

Number 32, 1949
Sold

Number 32, 1949

Realized Price
34,098,000 USD

Abstraktes Bild
Sold

Abstraktes Bild

Realized Price
33,604,500 USD

Untitled (Pollo Frito)
Sold

Untitled (Pollo Frito)

Realized Price
25,701,500 USD

Sold

Les Glaçons, Bennecourt

Realized Price
23,372,500 USD

Sold

Two Studies for Self-Portrait

Realized Price
22,151,754 USD

Sold

Red House

Realized Price
21,127,500 USD

Sold

Past Times

Realized Price
21,114,500 USD

Sold

By Twos

Realized Price
20,605,000 USD

Sold

Les Arceaux de roses, Giverny

Realized Price
19,421,000 USD