Executed in 1969 at the apotheosis of Roy Lichtenstein’s career, Composition was envisioned as a bespoke artwork to outfit German photographer Gunter Sachs’ bedroom suite in his notorious pop art apartment.
A quintessential evocation of the artist’s celebrated pop vernacular, Composition is an incredibly rare, unique example both materially and stylistically as it is one of only three unique porcelain enamel works created by the artist. Through his porcelain enamel on steel paintings, Lichtenstein harnessed the undercurrent of mass reproduction central to his earlier comic book works by utilising their very modes of mechanical reproduction. By doing so, he revolutionised how we perceive the world around us and how, in turn, the world has subsequently been presented back unto itself. Rendering the present work on an enamel plate added a further layer of complexity to the readymade nature of Lichtenstein’s most recognisable images once again removing the artist’s own hand.
Composition will be auctioned as part of the Contemporary Art Sale day on 16 May at Sotheby’s New York.