Market Watch Roy Lichtenstein: Top 10 Most Investable Prints

Roy Lichtenstein - MyArtBroker
Rebecca Marsham

Rebecca Marsham, Sales Director[email protected]

Interested in buying or selling
Roy Lichtenstein?

Browse artworks
Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein

285 works

Roy Lichtenstein's 2023 market performance surged, with sales value and lots sold rising by 22% and 20% respectively compared to the previous year, marking a peak over the seven-year period. Despite economic challenges, Lichtenstein's market flourished. The average selling price (ASP) reached £28,549, slightly higher than in 2022, indicating a potential slight decrease in prices despite increased sales. While ASP remained 7% lower than the peak in 2021, the 24% increase in lots sold and 15% increase in sales value suggest stabilisation and improvement in pricing from 2022. Overall, the market showed healthy activity with the significant rise in lots sold.

Read MyArtBroker's 2024 Roy Lichtenstein Investment Guide.

Here are Lichtenstein's top 10 most investable prints:

”Pop Art looks out into the world. It doesn't look like a painting of something, it looks like the thing itself.”
Roy Lichtenstein
1.

Water Lily Pond With Reflections

As part of one of Lichtenstein's later print series, Water Lilies, created in 1992, featuring works as a reinterpretation of Claude Monet's iconic impressionist painting Nymphéas. Composed of six screenprints on stainless steel, these pieces have gained immense popularity in the 2023 market, blending Lichtenstein's art historical knowledge with expressive pop art techniques through diverse mediums.

Water Lily Pond With Reflections (1992) reached new heights in May 2023, selling for £1,504,691 (with fees). This marked its first appearance in a western auction since 2014 when it sold for £278,111 (with fees). This recent sale in early 2023 represents a remarkable increase in value, 5.41 times, highlighting the competitive investment potential for Lichtenstein's print market.

2.

Nude With Blue Hair

In 2023, one of Lichtenstein's most revered print series, Nudes, contributed to his second highest-selling print of the year. Nude With Blue Hair (1994) presents a close-up cropped portrait of a topless woman with tasseled blue hair, her sultry stare engaging the viewer, her arm gracefully raised to her forehead. Lichtenstein's Nude series, celebrated for its quintessential comic book aesthetic, has remained highly sought-after in the art market throughout the year, commanding competitive prices.

This particular work, embodying Lichtenstein's iconic style, sold for £612,472 (with fees) in April 2023, reflecting its universal appeal and the enduring popularity of this series.

3.

Nude With Yellow Pillow

Nude With Yellow Pillow (1994) is also part of Lichtenstein's renowned Nudes series. While his comic book-inspired female renditions are widely appreciated, it's the Nudes collection that has been making waves throughout 2023, consistently establishing new records. This particular artwork, sold as an Artist Proof at Phillips New York auction in October, emerged as the standout lot, setting a fresh record by selling for £449,111 (with fees). We eagerly anticipate if these prints will maintain their dominance into 2024.

4.

Two Nudes

In Two Nudes (1994), a part of Lichtenstein's renowned Nudes series, diverges from traditional portraiture. Instead, Lichtenstein delves into voyeurism, capturing two alluring women in the intimate setting of a home. One woman, depicted in monochrome Ben-Day dots, lies on her stomach on the bed, her face concealed. The other, portrayed in coloured Ben-Day dots, reveals the hues of her skin as she sits on the bed.

This interplay of monochrome and colour showcases Lichtenstein's mastery of tones, creating a scene reminiscent of a comic book script, yet open to interpretation. Unlike many of his female-centric works that often depict damsels in distress, Two Nudes allows viewers to draw their own conclusions. Rare and appearing only once in 2023, the piece fetched £254,000 (with fees) in September, securing its position as the third-highest selling print in Lichtenstein's 2023 sales. Its previous appearance in 2020 commanded £162,500 (with fees), indicating a remarkable 56% increase in sales value.

5.

Reflections On Crash

Reflections On Crash (1990) belongs to Lichtenstein's renowned Reflections series, showcasing the artist's ambition and curiosity as he reimagines conventional images through a glass lens. In a triumphant comeback, this artwork achieved a record-breaking sale of £167,164 at Bonhams in October 2023, surpassing its performance in the two previous sales in 2022.

6.

Nude Reading

Exemplifying its strong commercial allure, Nude Reading secures its spot among Lichtenstein's highest-selling prints in 2023. Using his renowned Ben-Day dot technique, Lichtenstein portrays a serene nude woman seated on a bed, exuding contentment. Unlike the typical distressed damsel often depicted in his works, this woman appears confident, legs crossed, one arm casually resting on her head, while holding a book in the other hand.

This artwork has proven its appeal, achieving successful sales on the secondary market twice in 2023. It fetched £132,583 at Sotheby's and £163,617 at Phillips (with fees), both transactions occurring in April. Lichtenstein's Nudes series has notably gained traction in the secondary market this year, and it wouldn't be surprising to witness more pieces emerge throughout the remainder of the year.

7.

Seascape

Lichtenstein's Landscapes, Moonscapes, Seascapes series drew attention in 2023. This series showcased his unique reinterpretation of landscape settings, highlighting the versatility of his artistic approach. In 2023, Seascape (1985) made two appearances, marking its first entry in the market within the past five years. Its sale as a right-to-print (RTP) proof, an early proof ensuring limited edition print quality before full production, set a new record at Phillips selling for £135,705 in October.

8.

Moonscape (C. 212)

Moonscape (C. 212) (1985) belongs to Lichtenstein's Landscapes, Moonscapes, Seascapes series, where he merges landscape settings with a pop art aesthetic, offering a unique reinterpretation of art history. Created in the 1980s, the artwork portrays a coastal scene featuring slanted trees, water, and sand, rendered through hand-painted swaths of colour. Two abstract women are depicted sitting and standing in the right-hand corner, adding depth to the composition.

This piece is part of an experimental yet successful series where Lichtenstein deviated from his signature Ben-Day dots, showcasing his versatile approach to Pop Art. The work's appeal was underscored by its sale in May, achieving £123,627 (with fees), securing its place among Lichtenstein's top-selling prints in 2023.

9.

The Melody Hants My Reverie

Artworks such as The Melody Haunts My Reverie (1965) don't fall into a specific series but capture Lichtenstein's style from the 1960s. While still showcasing his iconic female muse, these pieces reflect his early artistic evolution. These works maintained competitive pricing compared to his highly-coveted Nudes series in 2023, and this work sold at Phillips in October, selling for £130,486.

10.

Modern Room

Created in 1991, Modern Room is a part of Lichtenstein's detailed Interior series. Crafted towards the later stage of the artist's career, this series drew inspiration from clippings and images sourced from everyday furniture advertisements. This rare artwork made two auction appearances in 2023, marking its first presence since 2020. This work attracted significant interest at Sotheby's October auction, achieving a sale price of £127,000, setting a new auction record for this work.

FAQs