Oil, graphite pencil on canvas
16 3/16 x 16 3/16 in. (41.2 x 41.1 cm)
Signed and dated verso, top center: rf Lichtenstein / '63
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. 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. A regular type used was #10 cotton duck from New York Central Art Supply. Circular canvases were at least partially ordered there as well. 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. Lebron stretchers were standard orders from c. 1972 on, and were typically delivered assembled. 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 a practical protection during shipment and storage movements and were routinely added to paintings at least from the time James dePasquale became Lichtenstein's assistant.   

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: Magnifying Glass, 1963 (RLCR 789)
RLCR 789 (LC 94; RL 0121)
Magnifying Glass
1963
Title Source
Castelli; RL Register; RL Studio Card; Rose
Media
Oil, graphite pencil on canvas
Dimensions
16 3/16 x 16 3/16 in. (41.2 x 41.1 cm)
Inscriptions
Signed and dated verso, top center: rf Lichtenstein / '63
Stretcher: [est.] # / 94 [number struck through]
Research Images
Magnifying Glass, 1963 (RLCR 789). Note by the artist's assistant James dePasquale about the artwork's correct orientation, attached to backing board
Note by the artist's assistant James dePasquale about the artwork's correct orientation, attached to backing board
Provenance
Gian Enzo Sperone, Turin, Italy, January 1965 (via Leo Castelli Gallery, New York City; via Galerie Ileana Sonnabend, Paris)
Private collection, c. 1970 [on permanent loan to Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz, 2002–present]
Exhibitions
William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art and Mary Atkins Museum of Fine Arts, Kansas City, Missouri, Popular Art: Artistic Projections of Common American Symbols, April 28–May 26, 1963 (Coe 1963, no. 6 p. 57 color ill. [blue]).
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, Black, White, and Grey, January 9–February 9, 1964.
San Marino Biennale, Palazzo dei congressi, San Marino, Nuove tecniche d'immagine in 6. Biennale internazionale d'arte contemporanea della Repubblica di San Marino, July 15–September 30, 1967 (San Marino Bienniale 1967, p. 31 b/w ill.).
Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Turin, Italy, New-Dada e Pop Art Newyorkesi, April 2–May 4, 1969 (Malle 1969, no. 50 n.p. b/w ill. [flopped]).
Venice Biennale, Giardini della Biennale, Central Pavillion, Italy, Dalla natura all'arte, dall'arte alla natura: L'Iconosfera Urbana in La Biennale di Venezia, 38. Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte, July 02–October 15, 1978 (Kraus 1978).
Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Drawings of Roy Lichtenstein, March 15–June 2, 1987 (Rose, Bernice 1987, no. 318 p. 25 b/w ill.); (Kies 1987b). Traveled to: Museum Overholland, Amsterdam, July 17–September 13, 1987 (abridged) (Kies 1987a); Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel, November 9, 1987–January 3, 1988 (Kies 1987a); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin, January 20–February 20, 1988 (abridged) (Kies 1987a); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany, March 12–May 1, 1988 (Rose, Bernice 1988, no. 302 p. 23 b/w ill.); Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, United Kingdom, May 22–July 3, 1988 (Rose, Bernice 1988, no. 302 p. 23 b/w ill.); Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., September 17–November 20, 1988 (Rose, Bernice 1988, no. 302 p. 23 b/w ill.).
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. 116 p. 229 b/w ill.); (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.
Castello di Rivoli, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Turin, Italy, Un'Avventura internazionale: Torino e le arti 1950–1970, February 5–April 25, 1993 (Castello di Rivoli 1993, p. 292 b/w ill.).
Sperone Westwater, New York, Emblems and Contours, January 7–February 11, 1995. Traveled to: Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio, September 1995–January 28, 1996.
Chiostro del Bramante, Rome, Roy Lichtenstein, Riflessi/Reflections, December 20, 1999–April 2, 2000 (Waldman 1999, no. 1 p. 57 b/w ill.). 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. b/w ill.).
Kunstforum, Vienna, Roy Lichtenstein, December 11, 2003–March 7, 2004 (Kunstforum Wien 2003, fig. 1 p. 11 b/w ill, no. 14 p. 58 b/w ill.).
Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria, Roy Lichtenstein: Classic of the New, June 12–September 4, 2005 (Schneider, E. 2005b, n.p. facing p. 65 b/w ill.); (Schneider, E. 2005c, n.p. facing p. 65 b/w ill.).
Morgan Library and Museum, New York, Roy Lichtenstein: The Black-and-White Drawings, 1961–1968, September 24, 2010–January 2, 2011 (only Vienna) (Dervaux 2010b). Traveled to: Albertina, Vienna, January 27–May 15, 2011 (as Roy Lichtenstein: Black & White, 1961–1968) (Dervaux 2011b, p. 212 b/w ill.).
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, May 16–September 3, 2012 (Rondeau and Wagstaff, Sheena 2012, no. 25 n.p. b/w ill.). 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); 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); (Pompidou 2013, p. 6 b/w ill.); (Morineau 2013a, no. 6 p. 73 b/w ill.).
Literature
Rublowsky, John (Photographs by Ken Heyman). Pop Art: Images of the American Dream. New York: Basic Books, 1965, n.p. preceding p. 61 b/w ill.
Melville, Robert. "The New Classicism." Architectural Review 139, no. 828 (February 1966), no. 5 p. 146 b/w ill.
Waldman, Diane. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1971, no. 1 n.p. b/w ill.
Sterckx, Pierre. "Lichtenstein: Le Mondrian du Pop." Clés pour les arts (Brussels) 18 (February 1972), p. 11 b/w ill., p. 14 b/w ill.
Coplans, John, ed. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1972, p. 37 b/w ill.
Calvesi, Maurizio. Le due avanguardie. Vol. 2, Informale, New Dada, Pop Art. Bari: Editori Laterza, 1975, no. 26 n.p. b/w ill. (as Lente).
Keller, Jean-Pierre. Pop art et évidence du quotidien. Lausanne: L’Âge d’Homme, 1979, n.p. facing p. 106 b/w ill.
Dubreuil-Blondin, Nicole. La Fonction critique dans le Pop Art américain. Montreal: Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 1980, no. 18 n.p. b/w ill.
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), p. 16 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
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. 2 p. 16 b/w ill. [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. 21 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Boatto, Alberto. Grande Opere: Pop Art. Rome: Editori Laterza, 1983, no. 93 n.p. b/w ill.
Cowart, Jack. Roy Lichtenstein 1970–1980. Tokyo: Seibu Museum of Art, 1983. Exhibition catalogue (1981 St. Louis Art Museum), p. 12 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Sgan-Cohen, Michael. "Lichtenstein in Tel Aviv." Yediot Aharonot: Weekly Supplement (Tel Aviv) 11, no. 1241 (November 13, 1987), p. 30 b/w ill.
Hendrickson, Janis. Roy Lichtenstein. Cologne: Benedikt Taschen, 1988, p. 41 b/w ill.
Troelsen, Anders. "Dette er (ikke) et billede: Rammer for en analyse af et Roy Lichtenstein-maleri." Konsthistorisk tidskrift/Journal of Art History (Stockholm) 57, no. 2 (1988), no. 7 p. 84 b/w ill.
Mahsun, Carol A., ed. Pop Art: The Critical Dialogue. Studies in the Fine Arts. Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1989, p. 237 b/w ill.
"Zuerst Niedrig und Nun Hoch Gehängt." Art: Das Kunstmagazin (Hamburg), no. 1 (January 1991), p. 57 b/w ill. (flopped).
Hindry, Ann, ed. Artstudio. Special issue, Roy Lichtenstein, no. 20 (Spring 1991), n.p. following p. 109 b/w ill.
Waldman, Diane. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 1993. Exhibition catalogue (1993 New York Guggenheim), no. 44 n.p. facing p. 46 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Vernissage Köln. Special issue, Roy Lichtenstein in München, no. 9 (September 1994), p. 55 b/w ill.
Waldman, Diane. Roy Lichtenstein. Translated from the English by Bram Opstelten and Magda Moses. New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 1994. Exhibition catalogue (1993 New York Guggenheim), no. 44 n.p. facing p. 46 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Becker, Wolfgang. I Love Pop: Europa—USA Anni '60: Mitologie del quotidiano. Milan: Electa, 1999. Exhibition catalogue (1999a Rome Chiostro del Bramante), p. 22 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Serafini, Giuliano. Art e Dossier. Special issue, Lichtenstein (Milan), no. 152 (January 2000), p. 15 b/w ill.
Clearwater, Bonnie. Roy Lichtenstein: Inside/Outside. North Miami: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2001. Exhibition catalogue (2001 North Miami MOCA), fig. 9 p. 30 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Gagosian Gallery, New York. Roy Lichtenstein: Early Black and White Paintings. New York: Gagosian Gallery, 2001. Exhibition catalogue (2001b New York Gagosian), p. 40 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Lobel, Michael. "Technology Envisioned: Lichtenstein's Monocularity." Oxford Art Journal 24, no. 1 (2001), no. 4 p. 141 b/w ill.
Lobel, Michael. Image Duplicator: Roy Lichtenstein and the Emergence of Pop Art. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002, no. 51 p. 90 b/w ill.
Yonemura, Noriko. Seurat: Beyond Pointillism Rikuyusha Art View. Tokyo: Rikuyosha, 2002, p. 104 b/w ill.
Wakabayashi, Naoki, Ryūtarō Shirao, and Yoshiharu Kamino, ed. Image Editing. Tokyo: Musashino Art University Press, 2003, p. 58 b/w ill.
Naivin, Bertrand. "Corps abstrait ou la représentation du corps dans le Pop Art américain à travers l'oeuvre d'Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann, Allen Jones et Mel Ramos." PhD diss., Université de Paris VIII, Paris, 2006, p. 367 b/w ill.
Sterckx, Pierre. 50 géants américains: Comment New York a détrôné l'Europe. Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts-de-Seine): Beaux-Arts Éditions, 2007, p. 121 b/w ill.
Bader, Graham, ed. Roy Lichtenstein. October Files 7. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2009, p. 115 b/w ill.
Mercurio, Gianni, ed. Lichtenstein: Kunst als Motiv. Translated from the English. Cologne: DuMont, 2010. Exhibition catalogue (2010 Milan Triennale), p. 61 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Mercurio, Gianni, ed. Roy Lichtenstein: Meditations on Art. Milan: Skira; distributed by Rizzoli, New York, 2010. Exhibition catalogue (2010 Milan Triennale), p. 61 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Mercurio, Gianni, ed. Roy Lichtenstein: Meditations on Art. Milan: Skira Editore, 2010. Exhibition catalogue (2010 Milan Triennale), p. 61 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Morel, Francis, ed. Connaissance des arts. Special issue, Roy Lichtenstein, no. 589 (July–August 2013), p.19 b/w ill.
Pommereau, Claude, ed. Roy Lichtenstein au Centre Pompidou. Issy-les-Moulineaux, France: Beaux Arts Éditions, 2013, pp. 54–55 b/w ill. (double spread).
Lévy Gorvy, London. Source and Stimulus: Polke, Lichtenstein, Laing. London: Lévy Gorvy, 2018. Exhibition catalogue (2018 London Lévy), n.p. facing p. 80 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Mercurio, Gianni, ed. Roy Lichtenstein: Multiple Visions. Milan: 24 Ore Cultura, 2019. Exhibition catalogue (2019 Milan MUDEC), p. 23 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Mercurio, Gianni, ed. Roy Lichtenstein: Multiple Visions. Milan: 24 ORE Cultura, 2020. Exhibition catalogue (2019 Milan MUDEC), p. 23 b/w ill. [not exhibited].