Roy Lichtenstein's Pop Art masterpiece leads Christie's New York sale
An important Pop Art masterpiece by Roy Lichtenstein will lead a Christie's art sale in New York next month.
The large-scale painting 'Red and White Brushstrokes' will hit the open market for the first time in its history, with an estimated value of $25 - $35 million.
Lichtenstein's Brushstroke series was created during a few short months in 1965, and is regarded as one of the most important of his career.
"By taking something as fundamental as a the mark made by the stroke of a brush and rendering it in the style of a mass produced comic, Lichtenstein set out to derail over a thousand years of art history," said Christie's.
Many saw the series as sly commentary, or even a challenge, to the work of Abstract Expressionist painters such as Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock, who had previously dominated the art world.
"Lichtenstein was an enthusiastic student of art history," said Andy Massad, Deputy Chairman of Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie's.
"Using Abstract Expressionism, Renaissance painting and comic books as inspiration, Lichtenstein simultaneously canonized the work of his predecessors and eviscerated the parameters surrounding fine art.
"With this canvas he embraced the appearance of mechanical reproduction with a palette of red, white, and blue to form brushstrokes that wave like a flag of purely American painting, commenting on, but revolutionarily apart from European tradition.
"This work epitomizes the artist’s ability to harness so much implication into deceptively simple imagery."
Today the majority of those 14 paintings are owned by museums and institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, with just a handful remaining in private hands.
The Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Auction takes place in New York on May 17.
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