Roy Lichtenstein, ‘Reflections: Portrait of a Duck (Study)’, 1989, Sotheby's

Magnificent Gestures: Masterworks from The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Collection Full Proceeds to Benefit a Not-for-Profit Charitable Foundation

image: 4 1/4 by 5 in. 10.8 by 12.7 cm.
sheet: 10 1/8 by 13 7/8 in. 25.7 by 32.2 cm.

Guaranteed Property (see Conditions of Sale for further information)

From the Catalogue
"The Reflections in fact picture natural phenomena (reflected light) interfering with our experience of cultural matter (the just recognizable images beneath). They mix and mash, in other words, [Leo] Steinberg's terms, betraying the manner in which visual experience is itself an operational process, and our perception of nature always built from a layering of cultural references and codes. As Lichtenstein commented in 1996, nearly a decade after he began the Reflections: 'cartoonists have used diagonal lines and slash marks to tell us they are rendering a mirror and we have come to accept these symbols;' conversely, when one has seen his or her share of Lichtenstein's Reflections, natural effects themselves begin to appear through a distinctly Lichtensteinian lens. If such ideas and imperatives had been central to his practice since the 1960s, it was first in the 1980s that Lichtenstein—a cultural institution himself by that point—began to explore them with such adamant inventiveness, humor, and self-referentiality."
Graham Bader, "Painting Reflection" in Exh. Cat., New York, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Roy Lichtenstein: Reflected, 2010, p. 54
—Courtesy of Sotheby's

New York, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Roy Lichtenstein: Reflected, September - October 2010, n.p., illustrated in color
Turin, Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Roy Lichtenstein: Opera Prima, September 2014 - January 2015, cat. no. 195, p. 177, illustrated in color

Estate of the artist
Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner

About Roy Lichtenstein

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