Acrylic, oil, graphite pencil on canvas
98 1/8 x 128 3/4 in. (249.2 x 327 cm)
Signed and dated verso, lower left: rf Lichtenstein / '74
Classification: 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


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

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. 

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. 

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

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." 


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: Artist's Studio "The Dance", 1974 (RLCR 2252)
RLCR 2252 (LC 679; RL 0593)
Artist's Studio "The Dance"
Title Source
RL Studio Card
Alternate titles and sources: Artist's Studio – "The Dance" (Castelli); Artist's Studio – The Dance (RL Studio Photograph); Artists Studio IV (RL Studio Photograph)
Acrylic, oil, graphite pencil on canvas
98 1/8 x 128 3/4 in. (249.2 x 327 cm)
Signed and dated verso, lower left: rf Lichtenstein / '74
Stretcher: RL 679 [twice]
Related Works
Mr. and Mrs. S.I. Newhouse, Jr., New York City, November 1974 (via Leo Castelli Gallery, New York City)
Leo Castelli Gallery (4 East 77th Street), New York, Roy Lichtenstein: The Artist's Studio, November 2–30, 1974.
Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Roy Lichtenstein 1970–1980, May 8–June 28, 1981 (only St. Louis, New York) (Cowart 1981b, frontispiece color ill. [foldout; as Artist's Studio, the "Dance"]). Traveled to: Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, July 16–September 6, 1981; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, September 22–November 29, 1981; Fort Worth Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, December 16, 1981–February 7, 1982; Josef-Haubrich-Kunsthalle, Cologne, March 10–April 25, 1982 (with an additional exhibit on the Kunsthalle's lower floor showing Lichtenstein artworks from the Ludwig Collection) (Cowart 1982a, frontispiece color ill. [foldout]); Orsanmichele, Florence, Italy, May–August 1982 (Cowart 1982b, p. 18 b/w ill.); Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, September 21–December 19, 1982 (Cowart 1982b, p. 18 b/w ill.); Fundación Juan March, Madrid, January 14–March 20, 1983 (Cowart 1982b, p. 18 b/w ill.); Ohara Museum of Art, Chuo Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture, Japan, April 26–May 22, 1983 (Cowart 1982b, p. 18 b/w ill.); Seibu Museum of Art, Seibu Takanawa, Tokyo, June 1–July 13, 1983 (Cowart 1983).
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, October 7, 1993–January 16, 1994 (only New York, Los Angeles, Montreal) (Waldman 1993b, no. 170 n.p. following p. 219 color ill. [double spread]). Traveled to: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 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. 170 n.p. following p. 219 color ill. [double spread]); Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany, February 8–April 30, 1995 (included early works) (Waldman 1994, no. 170 n.p. following p. 219 color ill. [double spread]); Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, June 2–September 3, 1995 (included early works) (Waldman 1994, no. 170 n.p. following p. 219 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. 170 n.p. following p. 219 color ill. [double spread]).
Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland, Roy Lichtenstein, May 24–September 27, 1998 (Beyeler [Fondation] 1998, no. 43 p. 74 color ill. [foldout]).
Triennale di Milano, Milan, Roy Lichtenstein: Meditations on Art, January 26–May 30, 2010 (only Cologne) (Mercurio 2010c, p. 128 color ill. [double spread]); (Mercurio 2010d, p. 128 color ill. [double spread]). Traveled to: Museum Ludwig, Cologne, July 2–October 17, 2010 (as Roy Lichtenstein: Kunst als Motiv) (Mercurio 2010a, p. 128 color ill. [double spread]).
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, May 16–September 3, 2012 (Rondeau and Wagstaff, Sheena 2012, no. 106 n.p. color 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, no. 54 p. 69 color ill.); 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. 54 p. 69 color ill.); (Pompidou 2013, p. 33 color ill.); (Morineau 2013a, no. 46 p. 147 color ill.).
Barrio-Garay, José-Luis. "Crónica de Nueva York: El estado del ‘Pop' a finales de la temporada pasada." Goya (Madrid), no. 123 (November–December 1974), no. 5 p. 169 b/w ill.
Ellenzweig, Allen. "Roy Lichtenstein." Arts Magazine (New York) 49, no. 3 (November 1974), p. 22 color ill.
Hahn, Otto. "Roy Lichtenstein." Art Press, no. 15 (December 1974–January 1975), p. 5 b/w ill.
Mellow, James R. "A Pop-Art Star Finds New Inspiration in Matisse." New York Times, November 10, 1974, b/w ill.
Schuyler, James. "Roy Lichtenstein at Castelli." Art in America 62, no. 6 (November–December 1974), p. 117 color ill.
Inui, Yoshiaki. "Pertaining to Writing—From One-Man Shows in New York." Mizue (Tokyo) 1, no. 838 (January 1975), p. 103 b/w ill.
Lichtenstein, Roy, and Jean-Claude Lebensztejn. "Eight Statements [on Matisse]." Art in America 63, no. 4 (July–August 1975), p. 67 b/w ill.
Smith, Roberta. "New York: Roy Lichtenstein, Castelli Gallery Uptown." Artforum 13, no. 6 (February 1975), p. 63 b/w ill.
Rosing, Larry. "Matisse and Contemporary Art, 1970–1975." Arts Magazine (New York) 49, no. 9 (May 1975), p. 69 b/w ill.
Lipman, Jean, and Richard Marshall. Art About Art. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1978. Exhibition catalogue (1978 New York Whitney), p. 108 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Dubreuil-Blondin, Nicole. La Fonction critique dans le Pop Art américain. Montreal: Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 1980, no. 66 n.p. b/w ill.
Dubreuil-Blondin, Nicole. "Roy Lichtenstein: L'atelier d'artiste ou l'auto-référence dans le pop." Parachute, no. 19 (Summer 1980), p. 16 ill.
Russell, John. The Meanings of Modern Art. New York: Museum of Modern Art and Harper and Row, 1981, p. 377 color ill.
Cowart, Jack. "Roy Lichtenstein: 1970–1980. Beyond Pop." American Artist (New York) 45, no. 468 (July 1981), pp. 42–43 color ill. (double spread).
Perrelli, Gianni. "Un po' di Picasso e un po' di Paperino." L'Europeo (Milan) vol. 38, no. 22 (May 31, 1982), pp. 126–127 color ill. (double spread).
Alloway, Lawrence. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Abbeville Press, 1983, no. 89 p. 89 color ill. (flopped).
Hindry, Ann, ed. Artstudio. Special issue, Roy Lichtenstein, no. 20 (Spring 1991), p. 89 color ill.
Contemporary Great Masters: Roy Lichtenstein. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd., 1992, no. 33 n.p. color ill. (as Artist's Studio, the Dance; double spread).
Hughes, Robert. "The Image Duplicator." Time 142, no. 19 (November 8, 1993), p. 84 color ill.
Richardson, Elizabeth. "Those Lichtenstein Women." Harper's Bazaar 126, no. 3383 (October 1993), no. 10 p. 235 color ill.
Smith, Roberta. "Roy Lichtenstein." Atelier (Tokyo), no. 803 (1994), p. 17 color ill. (as Dancers; installation view, 1993 New York Guggenheim).
Serafini, Giuliano. Art e Dossier. Special issue, Lichtenstein (Milan), no. 152 (January 2000), p. 41 color ill.
Bader, Graham, ed. Roy Lichtenstein. October Files 7. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2009, p. 50 b/w ill.
Faton-Boyancé, Jeanne, ed. L'objet d'art. Special issue, Roy Lichtenstein exposition au Centre Pompidou, no. 69 (July 2013), pp. 46–47 color ill. (double spread).
Morel, Francis, ed. Connaissance des arts. Special issue, Roy Lichtenstein, no. 589 (July–August 2013), pp. 24–25 color ill. (double spread).
Entry Updated October 18, 2023