Acrylic, oil, graphite pencil on canvas (three panels)
<span class="gray">Each panel:</span> 68 1/8 x 55 7/8 in. (173 x 142 cm) (approx.)
Signed and dated each panel verso, upper left: rf Lichtenstein / '64
Classification: painting

Painting

In this catalogue paintings are classified as follows:

Painting is a work with acrylic and/or oil on canvas or on another two-dimensional support (canvas board, wood panel, etc.)

Painting (mural) is a large-scale painting, historically called "mural"

Painting on paper describes a work in acrylic, oil or watercolor on paper or board

Dates

Lichtenstein usually signed and dated a painting on the verso around the time it was finished, inventoried or shipped to a gallery or storage. Some pre-Pop paintings were dated in code (e.g., RLCR 502). 

See also: 8. DATES

Media Lines

Described are all media visible on a painting's recto. Paint is listed first, followed by graphite pencil where present, followed by the support. An inscription's medium is given beneath the media line if different from the painting media.

Acrylic and Oil Paints

The painting media lines in this catalogue are rarely based on technical analysis by a museum or a conservator. They are mostly informed by conversations with the artist's studio assistants, by examination of paint jars and tubes that were kept after the artist's death and by RLF records or Leo Castelli Gallery files. 

In this catalogue, all types of acrylic paint are listed as "acrylic" and all types of oil paint as "oil."

Historically, the brand name "Magna" (acrylic dispersion paint by Bocour Artist Colors, Inc.) has been used to describe all of Lichtenstein's acrylic. RLF records and technical analysis by art museums confirm that the artist did not only use Magna, but at times Liquitex acrylic emulsion paint and, later, Golden Artist Colors acrylic dispersion paint. When Magna production stopped in c. 1990, Lichtenstein bought up large amounts of Magna. He also reached out to Golden who worked with him to devise custom MSA colors in Lichtenstein's hallmark hues.      

Pop paintings and later works were usually painted with both acrylic and oil. It is assumed that around 1962, Lichtenstein experimented with Liquitex and Magna before adopting Magna as the main medium. For paintings of 1962–63, media lines are informed by notes on RL Studio Cards and/or in the Leo Castelli Gallery inventory. In rare instances, media lines were written by the artist on the verso of a work (e.g., RLCR 691). For paintings of 1964 and beyond, solid colors are assumed to be acrylic and dots and diagonals oil. Lichtenstein preferred oil for stenciled patterns because it was slower drying (fast-drying Magna stuck to stencils and resulted in stray paint strands) and because, if corrections were needed, oil could be removed with solvent without disrupting the acrylic underneath. However, it is possible that Lichtenstein continued his experimentation with paints through and after 1964. 

Graphite Pencil Underdrawing

A closer look at Lichtenstein's paintings reveals that graphite pencil underdrawing and palimpsest is visible in most of them, starting in the 1960s. Nevertheless, pencil has not historically been mentioned in the related media lines. Due to the artist's well-known intention that his work not appear "too finished," this catalogue includes pencil in media lines. If in question from examination report results or other documentation, the presence of graphite pencil is assumed. When a researcher's examination report confirms that pencil is not visible, it is not included. 

Painting: Other Mediums and Techniques

Canvas
Different types of canvas are not described. Lichtenstein favored #10 cotton duck canvas from New York Central Art Supply; he also purchased duck canvas from U.S. Art Canvas and possibly others. Circular and oval canvases were ordered from David A. Paul and New York Central Art Supply. Earlier paintings' canvases are typically finer and sometimes described as "linen" in studio records.

Sand
In the Imperfect/Perfect and Entablature paintings, grainy areas are visible. Lichtenstein created this texture by adding beach sand, usually to a thick white underlayer over which he applied the final color. 

Sgraffito
This reductive technique of line-making is found in about 25 pre-Pop paintings. 

Stretchers
Stretchers are not included in media lines. Anco and H. Cole stretchers, among others, are used in Lichtenstein’s pre-Pop paintings; Sgroi Canvas Chassis stretchers are used in paintings from the late 1960s through early 1970s. Lebron stretchers were standard beginning around 1972 (a different stretcher brand was introduced once and quickly abandoned).

Strip frames
Strip frames are not included in media lines. Slightly raised above the edges, strip frames served as practical protection during shipment and storage movements and were routinely added to paintings at least from the time James dePasquale became Lichtenstein's assistant in 1972.   

Painting on Paper: Other Mediums and Techniques

Masking out
Masking techniques are indicated, but the material used (e.g., frisket, small objects) is not identified (e.g., RLCR 219).

Watercolor application
When it is applied in multiple ways, watercolor application method is described, otherwise brush is implied. For example, see RLCR 365, “Watercolor, brushed, smudged by hand and sprayed, with masking out, graphite pencil on paper." 

Dimensions

Painting dimensions are given from canvas edge to canvas edge, excluding original wood strip frames nailed to the edges. 

For multi-panel paintings, if panels are joined, overall dimensions and dimensions of each canvas are given. If panels are separate, only panel dimensions are provided since overall dimensions vary by installation. Lichtenstein usually suggested a distance of approximately 7 inches between canvases for installation. This fact informed spacing of related images in the catalogue entries (e.g., RLCR 1635). 

See also: 10. DIMENSIONS

Signature, Inscriptions, Marks

The artist usually signed and dated his paintings on the canvas verso in charcoal and applied a spray fixative before sending it to a gallery or storage.  

Pre-Pop paintings are often signed or initialed on the recto in oil, or inscribed with the artist's name and other tombstone information on the stretcher or tacking margin. 

See also: 11. INSCRIPTIONS

Read more: Guide to the Catalogue
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Catalogue entry

Artwork: As I Opened Fire..., 1964 (RLCR 827)
RLCR 827 (LC 121; LC 122; LC 123; RL 0074)
As I Opened Fire...
1964
Title Source
RL Studio Card
Alternate title and source: Three Panel – As I Open Fire (RL Register)
Media
Acrylic, oil, graphite pencil on canvas (three panels)
Dimensions
Each panel: 68 1/8 x 55 7/8 in. (173 x 142 cm) (approx.)
Inscriptions
Signed and dated each panel verso, upper left: rf Lichtenstein / '64
By artist left panel verso, upper left: Panel #1; middle panel verso, upper left: Panel #2; right panel verso, upper left: Panel #3. Left panel stretcher: # 121; middle panel stretcher: # 122; right panel stretcher: # 123
Studio
36 West 26th Street, New York
Keyword
Cartoons
Related Works
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Exhibitions
Leo Castelli Gallery (4 East 77th Street), New York, Group Exhibition (John Chamberlain, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella), February 8–March 12, 1964.
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, A Selection of 20th Century Art of 3 Generations, November 24–December 26, 1964 (panel 1) (Janis 1964, no. 34 b/w ill. [panel 1]).
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Twenty-Ninth Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting, February 26–April 18, 1965 (Williams, H. 1965).
Zachęta Centralne Biuro Wystaw Artystycznych (CBWA), Warsaw, Poland, Współczesne tendencje: malarstwo ze zbiorów Stedelijk Museum w Amsterdamie i Stedelijk van Abbemuseum w Eindhoven, April 5–24, 1966 (Centralne Biuro Wystaw Artystycznych 1966, no. 50 b/w ill.).
Raadhuis van Heerlen, Heerlan, the Netherlands, Het Stedelijk in Heerlen: Nieuwe stromingen, November 5–December 12, 1966 (Stadsgalerij, Heerlen 1966).
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Roy Lichtenstein, November 4–December 17, 1967 (Stedelijk Museum 1967, no. 25 color ill. [fold out]). Traveled to: Tate Gallery, London, January 6–February 4, 1968 (Tate 1968b, no. 24 n.p. facing p. 39 b/w ill.); Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland, February 23–March 31, 1968 (Kunsthalle Bern 1968, no. 22 color ill. [double spread]); (Tate 1968a, no. 26 p. 37 b/w ill.); Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover, Germany, April 13–May 19, 1968 (Kestner-Gesellschaft 1968, color ill. [fold out]).
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Roy Lichtenstein, September 19–November 9, 1969 (only New York) (Waldman 1969, no. 28 pp. 46–47 color ill. [double spread]). Traveled to: William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art and Mary Atkins Museum of Fine Arts, Kansas City, Mo., December 18, 1969–January 16, 1970; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Ill., February 7–March 22, 1970; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Wash., April 10–May 17, 1970; Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Columbus, Ohio, July 9–August 30, 1970.
Ateneumin Taidemuseo, Helsinki, Expo Stedelijk, April 1–May 9, 1971 (Ateneumin Taidemuseo 1971, no. 74 b/w ill.).
Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Europalia: Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam '60–'70, October 20–November 22, 1971 (BOZAR and Europalia 71 1971a, p. 22 b/w ill.); (BOZAR and Europalia 71 1971b, p. 22 b/w ill.).
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, American Pop Art, April 6–June 16, 1974 (Alloway 1974, no. 67 n.p. following p. 75 b/w ill. [double spread]).
Museum of Modern Art, New York, High and Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture, October 7, 1990–January 15, 1991 (Varnedoe and Gopnik 1990a, no. 86 p. 209 color ill. [fold out]); (Varnedoe and Gopnik 1990b). Traveled to: Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Ill., February 23–May 12, 1991; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Calif., June 21–September 15, 1991.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, October 7, 1993–January 16, 1994 (only New York, Munich until December 1994) (Waldman 1993b, no. 91 n.p. color ill. [double spread]). Traveled to: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Calif., January 26–April 3, 1994; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Montreal, May 26–September 5, 1994; Haus der Kunst, Munich, October 13, 1994–January 9, 1995 (included early works) (Waldman 1994, no. 91 n.p. color ill. [double spread]); Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany, February 8–April 30, 1995 (included early works) (Waldman 1994, no. 91 n.p. color ill. [double spread]); Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, June 2–September 3, 1995 (included early works) (Waldman 1994, no. 91 n.p. color ill. [double spread]); Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, September 21, 1995–January 7, 1996 (abridged version) (Waldman 1994, no. 91 n.p. color ill. [double spread]).
Castello di Rivoli, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Turin, Italy, L'Orizzonte: da Chagall a Picasso, da Pollock a Cragg, Capolavori dello Stedelijk Museum di Amsterdam, December 18, 1994–April 23, 1995 (Gianelli and Fuchs, R. 1994, p. 91 color ill.).
Kunsthal Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Pop Art, April 8–October 29, 1995 (installed June 1995) (Straus 1995, p. 93 color ill, front cover color ill. [foldout]).
Utsunomiya Museum of Art, Tochigi, Japan, Art in the 20th Century: From Cézanne and Van Gogh to the Present, Collection from the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, March 23–May 18, 1997 (Rintaro 1997, no. 44 pp. 132–133 color ill. [double spread]). Traveled to: Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Nagaoka, Niigata, Japan, May 28–July 12, 1997; Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum, Hiroshima, Japan, July 22–August 17, 1997; Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Nagoya, Japan, September 12–November 3, 1997; Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Shizuoka, Japan, November 11, 1997–December 21, 1998.
Chiostro del Bramante, Rome, Roy Lichtenstein, Riflessi/Reflections, December 20, 1999–April 2, 2000 (only Wolfsburg; Rome?) (Waldman 1999). Traveled to: Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Milan, April 20–June 25, 2000; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany, September 16, 2000–January 21, 2001 (as Roy Lichtenstein: Spiegelbilder, 1963–1997) (Waldman 2000a, n.p. color ill. [fold out]).
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris, Les années Pop, 1956–1968, March 15–June 18, 2001 (Francis, M. 2001, no. 64.99 color ill. [double spread]).
Kunstforum, Vienna, Roy Lichtenstein, December 11, 2003–March 7, 2004 (Kunstforum Wien 2003, no. 15 p. 52–53 color ill. [double spread]).
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, May 16–September 3, 2012 (not Paris) (Rondeau and Wagstaff, Sheena 2012, no. 40 n.p. color ill. [double spread]). Traveled to: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., October 14, 2012–January 13, 2013; Tate Modern, London, February 21–May 27, 2013 (as Lichtenstein: A Retrospective) (Dunne 2012, no. 34 pp. 44–45 color ill. [double spread]); Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris, July 3–November 4, 2013 (as Roy Lichtenstein, revised and reorganized) (Dunne 2013, no. 34 pp. 44–45 color ill. [double spread]); (Pompidou 2013); (Morineau 2013a, n.p. facing p. 41 color ill.).
Literature
Polk, Peggy. "Ex-Ohioan a Leader in Pop Art." Cleveland Press, April 3, 1964, p. 3 b/w ill. (as Fighter Plane Triptych; with artist, in progress).
Lippard, Lucy R. Pop Art. New York: Thames & Hudson, 1966, no. 68 n.p. following p. 87 color ill. (panel 3).
Ammann, Jean-Christophe. "Roy Lichtenstein." Werk 55, no. 4 (April 1968), no. 3 p. 278 b/w ill.
Sorin, Raphaël. "Le classicisme du hot dog." La quinzaine littéraire, no. 42 (January 1968), p. 16 b/w ill. (panel 3).
Kostelanetz, Richard. "The State of the Art of Painting." North American Review 255, no. 4 (Winter 1970), p. 54 ill. (panel 1).
Crespo, Ángel. Roy Lichtenstein y el arte pop. Mayagüez: Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1970. Exhibition catalogue (1970 Mayagüez Universidad de Puerto Rico), no. 9 n.p. b/w ill. (panel 3), [not exhibited].
Crespo, Ángel. "Roy Lichtenstein y el arte pop." Revista de arte/The Art Review (Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayagüez), no. 5 (June 1970), no. 9 p. 18 b/w ill. (panel 3).
Lichtenstein, Roy. [no title]. Edited by Christian Bourgois. Kitsch (Paris: Marie Concorde Editeur), no. 2 (February 1971), p. 46 b/w ill. (panel 3), p. 47 b/w ill. (panels 1 and 2).
Waldman, Diane. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1971, no. 77 n.p. color ill. (fold out).
Wilson, Simon. Pop. London: Thames & Hudson, 1978, no. 8 n.p. color ill. (panel 3).
Cowart, Jack. Roy Lichtenstein 1970–1980. New York: Hudson Hills Press in association with the St. Louis Art Museum, 1981. Exhibition catalogue (1981 St. Louis Art Museum), pp. 62–63 b/w ill. (double spread), [not exhibited].
Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1981, no. 233 p. 352 color ill.
Lichtenstein, Roy, and Mauro Calamandrei. "Pop art, addio." L'espresso (Rome) 28, no. 21 (May 30, 1982), p. 142 b/w ill. (panel 3).
Cowart, Jack. Roy Lichtenstein 1970–1980. Translated from the English by Nicolas Hepp. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1982. Exhibition catalogue (1981 St. Louis Art Museum), no. 53 pp. 62–63 b/w ill. (double spread), [not exhibited].
Cowart, Jack. Roy Lichtenstein 1970–1980. Translated from the English by Stefania Coppi. Florence: Electa, 1982. Exhibition catalogue (1981 St. Louis Art Museum), p. 42 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Cowart, Jack. Roy Lichtenstein 1970–1980. Tokyo: Seibu Museum of Art, 1983. Exhibition catalogue (1981 St. Louis Art Museum), pp. 58–59 b/w ill. (double spread), [not exhibited].
Alloway, Lawrence. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Abbeville Press, 1983, no. 29 p. 32 color ill.
Abbott, L. L. "Comic Art: Characteristics and Potentialities of a Narrative Medium." Journal of Popular Culture 19, no. 4 (Spring 1986), no. 2 p. 158 b/w ill.
Adler, Edward Jerome. "American Painting and the Vietnam War." PhD diss., School of Education, Health, Nursing, and Arts Professions, New York University, New York, 1986, no. 102 p. 488 b/w ill.
Hendrickson, Janis. Roy Lichtenstein. Cologne: Benedikt Taschen, 1988, pp. 28–29 color ill. (double spread).
Richard, Paul. "The Teeming Images of Roy Lichtenstein: At the Corcoran, a Delightful Retrospective." Washington Post, September 27, 1988, p. C1 b/w ill. (panel 2, with artist).
Steiner, Wendy. "Divide and Narrate: Seurat, Warhol, and Lichtenstein." In Pictures of Romance: Form against Context in Painting and Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988, no. 42 p. 165 b/w ill.
Osterwold, Tilman. Pop Art. Cologne: Benedikt Taschen, 1989, n.p. preceding p. 190 color ill. (double spread).
Lichtenstein, Roy, and Nicolas Dietrich. "Lichtenstein." A, Les aventures de l'art (Paris), no. 2 (December 1990), pp. 82–83 color ill. (panel 3; double spread).
Kodansha Ltd. Contemporary Great Masters: Roy Lichtenstein. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd., 1992, no. 6 n.p. color ill. (double spread).
Lubbock, Tom. "Dotting the Eyes." Modern Painters 6, no. 4 (Winter 1993), p. 45 color ill.
Lynton, Norbert. L'Art Moderne. Translated from the English by Anne Rochette and Christophe Marchand-Kiss. Paris: Flammarion, 1994, fig. 255 p. 293 b/w ill.
Whiting, Cécile. A Taste for Pop: Pop Art, Gender, and Consumer Culture. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1997, no. 39 pp. 112–113 b/w ill. (double spread).
Serafini, Giuliano. Art e Dossier. Special issue, Lichtenstein (Milan), no. 152 (January 2000), p. 31 color ill.
Hindry, Ann. "Roy Lichtenstein." In Les années pop, edited by Beaux-Arts magazine, Paris. Paris: Beaux Arts Éditions, 2001, p. 30 color ill.
Schenk, Ruud, ed. US in NL: Amerikaanse kunst in Nederlandse musea, 1945–2002. Utrecht: Centraal Museum, 2004, n.p. facing p. 137 color ill.
Goldberg, Itzhak. "Roy Lichtenstein: La peinture en bulles." Beaux arts magazine (Boulogne), no. 277 (July 2007), p. 64 color ill.

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We reserve the right to remove or disable access to any Content claimed to be infringing, at any time at our sole discretion, without notice or liability.  In appropriate circumstances, we will also terminate users of the Site who are repeat infringers.

If you believe that Content has been used in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please provide our designated agent, whose contact information is listed below, with a written notice containing all of the following information (“DMCA Notice”):

  • A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed;
  • Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed;
  • Identification of the Content that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity, and information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate such Content on our Site (such as the URL to each page on the Site containing allegedly infringing material);
  • Information reasonably sufficient to permit us to contact you, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an email address;
  • a statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the Content in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
  • a statement that the information in your notice is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Our agent designated to receive DMCA Notices may be contacted as follows:

[email protected]

Changes to the Terms

RLF may change these Terms from time to time by posting an updated version on this web page, or, if we determine that it is appropriate, we may provide other notice to you.  Your continued use of the Site after we post updated Terms means that you accept and agree to such Terms.  We recommend checking back on this web page regularly if you use the Site.

Termination

We reserve the right to terminate the Site, these Terms, and any Content, and your access to the Site and/or the Content, at any time without notice, for any reason.  The “Reliance on Information Posted,” “Copyright & Trademark,” “Inclusions in Catalogue Raisonné (or Lack Thereof),” “Additional Disclaimers,” “Limitation of Liability,” “Indemnification,” and “Governing Law” sections of these Terms (along with this provision and any other provision that by its terms contemplates survival) survive any termination of these Terms.

Governing Law

These Terms are the complete agreement between you and RLF regarding your use of the Site and is governed by applicable federal laws and the laws of the State of New York applicable to agreements made and completely performed there.  Any dispute arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York located in the Borough of Manhattan in the City of New York or, only if such court does not have subject-matter jurisdiction, the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County.

You irrevocably agree to bring any claim or dispute relating to your use of the Site and these Terms exclusively in the state and federal courts located in New York, to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of those courts, and to waive any jurisdictional, venue, inconvenient forum, or other objections to those courts.  

Other

Section titles and headings are for convenience only and have no legal or contractual effect.  The failure of RLF to exercise or enforce any right or provision of the Terms shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision.  If a court of competent jurisdiction determines that any provision of these Terms is unenforceable for any reason, then that provision will be deleted and the remaining provisions of these Terms will be enforceable to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Questions

Please email [email protected] with any questions you may have about these Terms.