Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)
Property from the Collection of Max Palevsky
Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)


Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)
signed, dated and numbered '2/6 rf Lichtenstein '82' (on the base)
painted and patinated bronze
54½ x 27½ x 10½ in. (138.4 x 69.8 x 26.7 cm.)
Executed in 1982. This work is number two from an edition of six.
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the late owner, 1983
Paris, Galerie Daniel Templon, Roy Lichtenstein: Oeuvres Récentes, January-February 1983, p. 220 (another example illustrated in color).
New York, Leo Castelli Gallery, Sculpture: John Chamberlain, Sandro Chia, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Julian Schnabel, Richard Serra, Lawrence Weiner, June-September 1983 (another example exhibited).
Ontario, Gallery Stratford; Toronto, College Park; Musée du Quebec; Halifax, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; Art Gallery of Windsor; Edmonton Art Gallery; Vancouver Art Gallery; Calgary, Glenbow Museum and Montreal, Musée d'Art Contemporain, American Accents, June 1983-January 1985, n.p. (another example illustrated in color).
New York, Sixty-Five Thompson Street, Roy Lichtenstein: Bronze Sculpture 1976-1989, May-July 1989, p. 65, no. 23 (another example illustrated in color).
Mexico City, Museo del Palacio de Bella Artesa; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey; Washington, D.C., Corcoran Gallery of Art; Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno and La Corua, Fundación Pedro Barrié de la Maza and Lisbon, Centro Cultural de Belem, Roy Lichtenstein: Imágenes Reconocibles: Escultura, Pintura y Grafica, July 1998-August 2000, pp. 18 and 140, no. 89 (another example illustrated in color).
New York, James Goodman Gallery, Roy Lichtenstein, Works on Paper: A Retrospective, November 2006-January 2007, n.p. (another example illustrated in color).


Executed in 1982, this work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné being prepared by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.

"Visible brushstrokes in a painting convey a sense of grand gesture. But, in my hands, the brushstroke becomes a depiction of a grand gesture. So the contradiction between what I'm portraying and how I am portraying it is sharp. The brushstroke became very important for my work" (R. Lichtenstein, A Review of My work since 1961, 1995).

Lichtenstein created sculptures because he was preoccupied with art's formal qualities and the difficult task of representing artistic illusionism's ephemeral nature. In Brushstroke, Roy Lichtenstein playfully confuses and muddies these concepts by combining sculpture, physical brushstrokes and the representation of brushstrokes to produce a work that stimulates our eyes and challenges our ideas of representation. He uses his signature arsenal of techniques and trickery, subverting the recognition of his own paintings and styles, to disrupt how we interpret and understand art and representation. Deferring to sculpture's historic traditions, Lichtenstein assembles, seemingly at random, colored brushstrokes that pay homage to the loose shape of a human form. He takes several things from the tenets that have dominated sculpture for centuries: vertical orientation, the central core and the limb-like horizontal elements. He combines contrasting brushstrokes, painterly gestures - depicted in a form seemingly at odds with the fluidity of what is represented - to produce an image that, in both content and appearance, is multilayered. Brushstroke explodes and reconfigures Pop. In it, Lichtenstein comments on the painterly process and artists like Monet and Van Gogh who reveled in the act, and yet it also takes a side-swipe against those Abstract Expressionists who took that process to extremes.

Lichtenstein owes a debt to Pop, made clear in how he has taken to pieces the two-dimensional image of the brushstrokes, and reconstituted them by combining scraps of painterly movement. "You know, all my subjects are always two-dimensional or at least they come from two-dimensional sources," he pointed out. "In other words, even if I'm painting a room, it's an image of a room that I got from a furniture ad in a phone book, which is a two-dimensional source. This has meaning for me in that when I came onto the scene, abstract artists like Frank Stella or Ellsworth Kelly were making paintings the point of which was that the painting itself became an object, a thing, like a sculpture, in its own right, not an illusion of something else. And what I've been trying to say all this time is similar: that even if my work looks like it depicts something, it's essentially a flat two-dimensional image, an object" (R. Lichtenstein, quoted in M. Kimmelman, Portraits, Talking with Artists at the Met, The Modern, The Louvre and Elsewhere, reproduced at Finally, Brushstroke is an object that, as with Kelly and Stella, is about painting itself.