£15,000-£23,000 VALUE (EST.)
$28,000-$45,000 VALUE (EST.)
$25,000-$40,000 VALUE (EST.)
¥130,000-¥200,000 VALUE (EST.)
€17,000-€27,000 VALUE (EST.)
$150,000-$220,000 VALUE (EST.)
¥2,620,000-¥4,010,000 VALUE (EST.)
$19,000-$29,000 VALUE (EST.)
This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.
Signed Print Edition of 100
H 56cm x W 43cm
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|Auction Date||Auction House||Artwork|
Return to Seller
|March 2023||Bonhams Los Angeles - United States||Explosion - Signed Print|
|October 2022||Phillips New York - United States||Explosion - Signed Print|
|February 2022||Christie's New York - United States||Explosion - Signed Print|
|April 2021||Phillips New York - United States||Explosion - Signed Print|
|October 2019||Freeman's - United States||Explosion - Signed Print|
|April 2018||Phillips New York - United States||Explosion - Signed Print|
|March 2015||Julien's Auctions - United States||Explosion - Signed Print|
Explosion by Roy Lichtenstein is both a tribute to comic book imagery and a critical reflection on warfare. In this early print from 1967, the artist inserts cartoon visuals into a fine art context. Executed as a signed offset lithograph in brilliant colours, the work is part of a limited edition of 100.
Beginning in the early 1960s, Roy Lichtenstein began borrowing images of explosions from popular war comics for use in his paintings. He was interested in the way dynamic events like explosions were depicted in the stylised format of cartoon illustrations. On the one hand, the subject matter embodies the revolutionary nature of Pop Art. At the same time, the topic suggests the very real threat of annihilation by a nuclear explosion that was prevalent at that time.
Executed as part of Portfolio 9 in 1967, Explosion pays tribute to the mass-produced perfection of its commercial source material. Lichtenstein refines and enlarges his shape to fit a fine art context, obscuring the border between different modes and hierarchies of representation. The artist combines vivid primary colours, harsh black outlines, and carefully plotted Ben Day dots in his portrayal of a perfectly calculated explosion.
The work functions as a reaction against the pretensions of art history and as a critical reflection on warfare. Similar to Lichtenstein’s explosive Whaam! and As I Opened Fire, the work is also a nod to the artist’s own years spent in the army. Explosion showcases the artist’s striking formal vocabulary, making this work a typical example of his creative oeuvre.