How the Legendary Ferus Gallery Put L.A. on the Art World’s Map
This pencil signed and inscibed R.T.P. by Roy Lichtenstein, is a one-of-a-kind piece of art history, from the legendary New York Collection for Stockholm. It's the only piece from the original portfolio that was ever hand signed by the artist and the only fully documented hand edition in the world; and, until we acquired it directly from Styria Studio - the original printer - it had never changed hands in nearly half a century. Roy Lichtenstein personally signed this work in front of the head of Styria Studio. The regular edition of "Finger Pointing" was 300 unsigned, but this is the only one in the entire world - from the original run by Styria Studio - that was pencil signed and inscribed by Roy Lichtenstein. In addition to the regular unsigned edition of 300, there was only ONE signed R.T.P. (Rights to Print) -work - and this is it !!-- pencil signed by Roy Lichtenstein. The historic importance and value of this UNIQUELY Signed iconic print - again, the only officially documented silkcreen that Roy signed in pencil from the entire portfolio at the time it was created -- cannot be underestimated. This was never meant to be part of the sold portfolio; it was the artist's autographed authorization to the printer - Styria Studio - to print the run. Nobody else in the entire world has ever had this print. The provenance is impeccable and irrefutable. We acquired this directly from the owner of Styria Studio, which printed the entire portfolio - which they kept in their personal collection for nearly half a century, as it was Lichtenstein's authorization to print the edition, hand signed in pencil. It is accompanied by a hand signed Documentation Sheet from Styria, showing that only one R.T.P. print was ever created out of the regular run of 300.
About the New York Collection for Stockholm Portfolio:
This iconic Roy Lichtenstein silkscreen is one of his most recognizable, as it has been reproduced in numerous exhibition catalogues, posters, textbooks and even museum websites, and is frequently cited in writings on Pop Art. It was created in 1973 for the legendary "New York for Stockholm" portfolio. (The portfolio was issued to commemorate the collection of paintings and sculpture by New York artists of the 1960s, assembled by Hultén and Klüver for the Moderna Museet Museum in Stockholm. The roster of artists included forms a who's who's of the New York art world during one of its most influential decades: Lee Bontecou, John Chamberlin, Walter De Maria, Jim Dine, Mark Di Suvero, Dan Flavin, Red Grooms, Hans Haacke, Donald Judd, Elsworth Kelly, Sol Lewitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Louise Nevelson, Kenneth Noland, Claes Oldenburg, Nam June Paik, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, James Rosenquist, George Segal, Richard Serra, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and others.) Over the years, this untitled print has been the subject of extensive critical commentary. It is interpreted as a parody of the iconic WWI Army recruitment poster in which Uncle Sam points his finger and says, "I Want You." Pop Art historians, however, note that Lichtenstein eliminated all patriotic fervor and left only the hand with its pointing finger -- against a blood red colored background. This print captures the zeitgeist of the early Seventies, as it was conceived and created during the Nixon era, when Americans were fatigued and disillusioned by the Vietnam War. Soon after, Nixon would resign as US President, and America would end its involvement in Vietnam. Today,some interpret the work as pointing an accusatory finger at the viewer, rather than as a commentary against the government, assigning a different social meaning to it.
All of the other editions of this print that are in the permanent collections of major museums and public institutions worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Moderna Museet, the Walker Art Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Dayton Art Institute, the Frost Art Museum,the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Princeton University Art Museum, the Pierpoint Morgan Library, and the Albertina Museum - to name only a few - are unsigned. Whoever acquires this work will have the only signed work that none of those institutions have in their collection. (Thus we hope that a museum or public collection will acquire this piece.)
It has been featured in dozens of exhibitions over the past three decades, including most recently,"Figuratively Speaking: A Survey of the Human Form", at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Las Vegas,and "iCON: Consuming the American Image" at the Johnson Museum of Art.
Mint condition; never framed.
Catalogue Raisonne: Corlett, Mary Lee. The Prints of Roy Lichtenstein: a catalogue raisonné. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1994, Corlett 126
Printed by: Styria Studio, New York
Published by Experiments in Art and Technology (Robert Rauschenberg's publishing group)
Signature: annotated and inscribed R.T.P. in pencil by Roy Lichtenstein; pencil signed verso by Roy Lichtenstein
Publisher: Styria Studio, Inc. New York
SIGNED RTP work has been in the publishers vault for decades and has never been exhibited. However, unsigned versions of this print, from the regular edition of 300 of this iconic and highly influential portfolio, have been exhibited around the world over the past half century. Some examples:
"Figuratively Speaking: A Survey of the Human Form", Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Las Vegas
"iCON: Consuming the American Image" at the Johnson Museum of Art.
Corlett, Mary Lee. The Prints of Roy Lichtenstein: a catalogue raisonné. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1994, (Corlett 126)
Acquired directly from Styria Studio, which published Roy Lichtenstein's "Finger Pointing" as well as the entire New York Collection for Stockholm Portfolio.
Acquired directly from the owner of Styria Studio in New York; this work has been in their personal collection for nearly half a century. Accompanied by a hand signed Documentation sheet from the printer.
When American Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein painted Look Mickey in 1961, it set the tone for his career. This primary-color portrait of the cartoon mouse introduced Lichtenstein’s detached and deadpan style at a time when introspective Abstract Expressionism reigned. Mining material from advertisements, comics, and the everyday, Lichtenstein brought what was then a great taboo—commercial art—into the gallery. He stressed the artificiality of his images by painting them as though they’d come from a commercial press, with the flat, single-color Ben-Day dots of the newspaper meticulously rendered by hand using paint and stencils. Later in his career, Lichtenstein extended his source material to art history, including the work of Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso, and experimented with three-dimensional works. Lichtenstein’s use of appropriated imagery has influenced artists such as Richard Prince, Jeff Koons, and Raymond Pettibon.
American, 1923-1997, New York, New York, based in New York and Southampton, New York
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