£13,000-£19,000 VALUE (EST.)
$23,000-$35,000 VALUE (EST.)
$21,000-$30,000 VALUE (EST.)
¥110,000-¥160,000 VALUE (EST.)
€14,500-€21,000 VALUE (EST.)
$130,000-$180,000 VALUE (EST.)
¥2,070,000-¥3,020,000 VALUE (EST.)
$16,000-$23,000 VALUE (EST.)
This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.
Mixed Media, 1989
Signed Mixed Media Edition of 60
H 137cm x W 85cm
Own this artwork?
Toni Clayton, American Pop & Modern Specialist
|Auction Date||Auction House||Artwork|
Return to Seller
|Sotheby's London - United Kingdom||Blue Face - Signed Mixed Media|
|April 2021||Sotheby's New York - United States||Blue Face - Signed Mixed Media|
|April 2018||Christie's New York - United States||Blue Face - Signed Mixed Media|
|October 2003||Bonhams New Bond Street - United Kingdom||Blue Face - Signed Mixed Media|
Utilising a wide repertoire of printing methods, Lichtenstein translated the gestural strokes of Abstract Expressionism into a Pop Art idiom in his Brushstroke Faces series of the late 1980s. The artist sought to move away from appropriation in this work and is therefore actively exploiting the abstract qualities of his own visual language. In Blue Face, Lichtenstein reflects on the constructivist power that only a select few brushstrokes can have on the overall composition.
The brush strokes in Blue Face are flattened with the help of an uncharacteristically muted colour palette. The work is freed from a personal narrative, yet is imbued with formal comedy. The same stylistic tendencies can be detected in another work from the series, titled Blonde. As the ascending brushstrokes are intersected by upwards flowing ones, the work is imbued with an almost musical undertone.
The pale grey and light blue strokes, representing the body of the main structure, flow in all directions. The outline of a mouth is marked in mustard yellow, while the dark green and blue smudges above it are indicative of eyes. The origins of the Brushstroke series, which were derived from a comic book source, are alluded to in the one blue dotted patch constituting the face of the figure.
Even in the simple details of Blue Face, there is an inherent criticism directed at the art historical conventions granting authority and inimitability to brushwork.