This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.
Signed Print Edition of 4
H 116cm x W 114cm
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Toni Clayton, American Pop & Modern Specialist
Roy Lichtenstein’s Drowning Girl from 1989 was initially executed in 1963 as a large-scale oil painting. The work became one of the most renowned artworks representing Pop Art. In fact, the composition was the one to set Lichtenstein’s prolific career in motion. It was exhibited, along with Castelli Handshake, at the artist’s first solo show held at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York.
Based on "Run for Love!" from DC Comics’ Secret Hearts, the print shows a teary-eyed woman engulfed by stormy waves. Her distress isn’t caused by the potential of drowning, it is due to heartbreak. Drowning Girl is Lichtenstein’s earliest melodramatic cartoon heroine and is one of several works that mention a visually absent character named Brad.
Drowning Girl is essentially a sardonic riff on gender politics and the misrepresentation of femininity in commercial culture and art history. Lichtenstein’s protagonist would prefer to give in to the power of the ocean rather than call for aid. The artist crops close on the scene, presenting an incomplete narrative. This method strengthens the formal aspects of the composition, emphasising the stylised motifs, and freezing both emotion and action in place. Similar to Crying Girl and Blonde Waiting, the canvas is highly charged with content, yet coolly represented through the means of mass printing.