Roy Lichtenstein Market Watch 2023

Written by - Sheena Carrington
Cropped image of a nude woman, torso upwards, looking away from the viewer with a hand to her ear, wearing headphones. The scene is set in a bedroom with a mirrored reflection of written music in the background.Image © Christie's / Nude With Joyous Painting © Roy Lichtenstein 1994
Rebecca Marsham

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Roy Lichtenstein, the renowned Godfather of Pop, recognised for his distinctive use of Ben-Day dots to recreate the vibrant world of comic books, remains a focal point of our analysis. In this updated report, we revisit Lichtenstein’s art market performance over the past five years to explore his ongoing momentum in the first half of 2023.

Download our complete The American Pop Prints Report, which explores the prints and multiples performance of various artists over the past five years leading up to the May Marquee sales of 2023 Quarter 2.


Our value index blends public auction data and private sales data from our collectors network. Our market value index uses artwork & artist data and a Repeat-Sales Regression (RSR) approach. Using the sale price of individual prints to estimate the fluctuations in the value of an average representative print over a unique period of time.

Our algorithm tracks over 48,500 auction histories & our own private sales data across 3,500 artworks spanning 30 years, including signed, unsigned, APs, PPs, TPs and sets of prints & editions.

We use several metrics when comparing artists:

  1. Market Size: the total value in sales in £GBP over a given period.
  2. Transaction Volume: the total number of sales over a given period
  3. Average Sales Price (ASP): the average price of a sale over a given period.
  4. Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR): a measurement used to smoothen the annual growth rate over a given period.
  5. Year-on-Year (YoY): a direct comparison between the latest year and the previous year.

Lichtenstein Quarterly Print Sales and Transaction Volume, 2017 - 2023

Stacked bar graph displaying the five-year quarterly performance of Roy Lichtenstein's art market. The graph shows the total print sales for each yearly quarter, represented by different colored bars, along with the transaction volume of sales. The data spans from 2017 to 2023.Lichtenstein Quarterly Print Sales and Transaction Volume, 2017 - 2023 © MyArtBroker 2023

Roy Lichtenstein: Print Perfromance , 2017 - 2023

Quarterly Market Trends and Sales Turnover

From a quarterly perspective, Quarter 2 and Quarter 4 consistently showcase robust performances throughout the five-year period, yielding impressive, comprehensive turnover YoY. However, Quarter 2 of 2022 stands out with a total sales turnover of 1.8 million (£GBP), marking a significant -77% deviation from the current standing in 2023. While the upcoming June auction sales will impact Quarter 2’s performance in 2023, surpassing the previous year's results without a seven-figure sale seems unlikely.

Lichtenstein Total Print Sales x Volume, 2017 - 2023

Double line graph representing the art market performance of Roy Lichtenstein over the past five years. The graph displays two lines, one indicating the yearly sales turnover and the other representing the yearly transaction volume. The data ranges from 2017 to 2023.Lichtenstein Total Print Sales x Volume, 2017 - 2023 © MyArtBroker 2023

Strength in Transaction Volume, Average Selling Price and Investment Return

One intriguing aspect of Lichtenstein’s print market is the consistent strength in transaction volume, which does not always align with the highest ASPs. However, despite the presence of negative fluctuations, Lichtenstein’s market demonstrates a pattern of YoY corrections. Notably, his ASP rebounded by 78% in 2019 and an impressive 166% in 2021, a year boasting the second-highest transaction volume throughout the five-year period. High ASPs in correlation to large transaction volume indicate robust activity of demand and supply. Furthermore, this correlation demonstrates that the artworks sold in that year commanded significant financial value. Nonetheless, Lichtenstein’s enduring appeal and marketability remain evident. The average selling price CAGR of his market calculate to 4.51%.

Although the average selling price CAGR figure may seem comparatively lower than that of other American Pop Artists that we’ve reviewed, it still represents a significant growth rate that would yield a positive return over the five-year period.

Lichtenstein ASP x YoY, 2017 - 2023

A double line graph illustrating the yearly fluctuations in the average selling price of artworks in Roy Lichtenstein's art market over the past five years, from 2017 to 2023. The graph also includes the corresponding percentages indicating the change in the average selling price for each year.Lichtenstein ASP x YoY, 2017 - 2023 © MyArtBroker 2023

Roy Lichtenstein 2023 Media Presence

Auction Performance

Recent auctions in May 2023 have showcased Lichtenstein’s endless capacity to achieve noteworthy seven-figure sales for his paintings. A prime example is the successful auction of Water Lily Pond With Reflections (1992) at Sotheby’s, surpassing its high pre-sale estimate. While it is premature to predict the exact trajectory of Lichtenstein’s market performance for the remainder of the 2023 auction year, the high YoY transaction volume over the five-year period suggests that a significant sale could occur in the remaining quarters—notably, Quarter 4, which has consistently yielded the highest overall turnover from a comprehensive quarterly perspective.

Artistic Impact and Influence: Navigating The Spotlight

Lichtenstein currently captures media attention for both commendable and controversial reasons. A recently released documentary titled ”WHAAM! BLAAM!’’ boldly explores Lichtenstein's art of appropriation, a subject that has long sparked contentious debates in art history. Nonetheless, Lichtenstein is not the first artist to stir controversy and won't be the last.

On a more celebratory note, as we approach Lichtenstein's 100th birthday in October of this year, The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation plans to generously donate nearly 200 works to esteemed museums. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York will receive the largest portions of this significant gift, and in response, The Whitney has announced its intention to organise a retrospective exhibition of the pop artist in 2026, coinciding with the release of a U.S. Postal Service stamp featuring several of Lichtenstein's iconic artworks.

Whether positive or negative, events often have a profound impact on an artist's market and can lead to donated works eventually entering the secondary market. Lichtenstein's presence remains substantial, influential, and multifaceted, and we will closely monitor how his market responds to these developments.

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