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Celebrating Roy Lichtenstein – Pop Art Godfather

One of the most innovative and influential artists of the latter 20th century, Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997) put the “Bif!,” “Bam!,” and “Pow!” into pop art. His larger-than-life paintings of people in melodramatic situations were inspired by comic strips and newspaper ads, and Lichtenstein made sure they were presented just that way – with a screened effect that resembled an enlarged newspaper page.

In the late 1960s, Lichtenstein began to veer away from narrative art and more toward the abstract. Over the next two decades he explored various movements – Cubism, Surrealism, Expressionism. In the words of art historian Jack Cowart, Lichtenstein’s compositions became “a rich dialogue of forms.” He invented and combined media. He created murals, completed six major commissions for public sculptures, and paid homage to Song dynasty paintings and scrolls with his late-career Chinese Landscapes.

Along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist and a few other contemporaries, Roy Lichtenstein is considered one of the godfathers of pop art. Had he lived, he would have celebrated his 93rd birthday today.

Here are the five top-selling Roy Lichtenstein artworks listed in past sales on LiveAuctioneers:

Brushstroke Nude, 1993

Painted cast aluminum sculpture, from an edition of three + artist’s proof, sold by Phillips, May 10, 2012, $4,800,000


Two figures, Indian, 1979

Oil and magna on canvas, sold by Phillips, Nov. 8, 2010, $3,400,000


Still Life with Cash Box, 1976

Oil and magna on canvas, sold by Phillips, May 10, 2012, $3,000,000



Forms in Space, 1985

Magna on canvas, sold by Phillips, Nov. 7, 2011, $1,300,000



Untitled, 1967

Acrylic on canvas, sold by Phillips, May 13, 2010, $350,000

On the hunt for more of Roy Lichtenstein’s works at auction? Click here to view all Roy Lichtenstein art available to bid on now.