Art Evening Auction
Sotheby’s to Offer Roy Lichtenstein’s Nude Sunbathing
NEW YORK, 10 April 2017 – Sotheby’s is delighted to announce that Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York on 18 May 2017 will feature Roy Lichtenstein’s Nude Sunbathing.
Painted in 1995 and exemplary of Lichtenstein’s late, great genius, the work revisits one of his signature subject matters: the female form. Rare to the market, Lichtenstein’s limited group of Late Nudes were the first series he undertook following his major 1993 career retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and were the very last major paintings that occupied the final years before his death in 1997. Examples from the series are represented in the world’s most renowned institutional and private collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Fondation Beyeler, and the Broad Art Foundation, among others.
Nude Sunbathing will be offered at auction for the first time and is expected to fetch in the region of $20 million. Having been unveiled in Hong Kong, the work will be shown in London 7-12 April before the New York exhibition opens on 5 May.
“Benday dots, a vibrant red, and a seductive female temptress make this the ultimate late Lichtenstein,” commented Amy Cappellazzo, Chairman of Sotheby’s Fine Art Division. “Reimagining the archetypal women that dominated his iconic early ‘60s paintings, Nude Sunbathing is unabashed in its sensuality. Lichtenstein’s larger-than-life nude in repose confidently occupies the entirety of the canvas, endowed more with the strength of her own desire rather than the vulnerability of the comic-book damsels that defined Lichtenstein’s early Girls.”
Taking inspiration from two of his most significant art historical influences – Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse – Lichtenstein abstracts the female body to its very simplest form, defined primarily by his trademark graphic line and boldly colored Benday dots. What distinguishes his 1990s Nudes from his earlier works are the varied planes of gradated Benday dots within the composition, which model the figure with great depth and heightened dimensionality. Nude Sunbathing is unique among this vaulted series of Nudes in that it is dominated primarily by a single color: the blistering contours of red that shape both her figure and the background.
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