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ROY LICHTENSTEIN Reverie.
Color screenprint on smooth wove paper, 1965. 687x583 mm; 27 1/8x23 inches, wide margins. Artist's proof, aside from the edition of 200. Signed in pencil, lower right. Printed by Dawa Basanow and Knickerbocker Machine and Foundry, Inc., New York. Published by Original Editions, New York. From 11 Pop Artists, Volume II. Ex-collection private collection New York, acquired with a collection of proof impressions from the Knickerbocker Machine and Foundry, Inc., New York. A very good impression with vibrant colors.
The portfolio 11 Pop Artists II combined then emerging artists such as Andy Warhol (1928-1987, see lots 214-229), Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004, see lots 271 and 272) and Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997, see lots 230-235) together in a single portfolio. Promoting their work in the nascent field of Pop Art, the portfolio included some of the most iconic images of the 20th century art movement including Lichtenstein's Reverie.
In Reverie, Lichtenstein blended two pieces of popular culture—jazz music and comic books—together. Mitchell Parish's lyrics from the song Stardust by Hoagy Carmicheal emanate from the figure's mouth and evoke a nostalgic lingering of a past time when two lovers were still together. The subject choice may have been rooted in the Lichtenstein's love of jazz. It is combined with his characteristic use of the comic book as the figure is based on a character in Secret Heart (a popular romance comic book from the 1960s).
When this work was published, Lichtenstein had already established a relationship with printmaking—he first practiced it when studying at Ohio State University and would continue to experiment on his own with different forms in the years leading up to the publication of Reverie. However, despite printing approximately 30 works on his own, he viewed Reverie as his first fine art print. He was hands-on in the development of this early color screenprint, working through the proofing process, as in this unpublished proof, to the final published impressions. Corlett 38.