Phillips has scored a nice out of the spotlight work without having to compete with its rivals. A Lichtenstein being sold by the foundation, the $10m work is just the sort of consignment that can generate fees and possibly surprise to the upside. Here’s Phillips release:
Phillips is pleased to announce that Roy Lichtenstein’s sculpture, Woman: Sunlight, Moonlight, will be offered as a highlight in the Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art on Thursday, 18 May. The sculpture, with an estimate in excess of $10 million, is being sold by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation to benefit its study center projects. The work is poised to set an all-time record for a sculpture by the artist.
The sculpture, completed in 1996 a year before the artist’s unexpected death, was created during the height of Lichtenstein’s career and is widely considered among the artist’s greatest works. Woman: Sunlight, Moonlight takes the art historical use of the bust through the lens of Lichtenstein’s signature Pop Art idiom. Standing more than three feet tall, the larger-than-life bust has a strong presence within its formal complexity.
“We are delighted that the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation has entrusted us with the sale of this extraordinary work of art,” said Scott Nussbaum, Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art at Phillips in New York. “This is one of Roy Lichtenstein’s greatest sculptures and we are honoured to be presenting it at our Evening Sale in New York.”
In keeping with Lichtenstein’s style, Woman: Sunlight, Moonlight features black graphic outlines on patinated bronze, partially painted in primary colors with the artist’s signature Ben-Day dots. A unique feature of the work is that each side bears a distinct composition, which invites viewing from two sides. Formally reflecting the work’s very title, Woman: Sunlight, Moonlight explores two chromatically contrasting renditions of the woman’s face.
Other examples of Woman: Sunlight, Moonlight – there are a total of six plus an artist’s proof – are now housed in prominent collections such as the Broad Museum in Los Angeles. The piece has also been included in nine major exhibitions, including Lichtenstein’s landmark retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago, which travelled to the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C, Tate Modern, London, and Centre George Pompidou, Paris, between 2012 and 2013.
The present work has an impeccable provenance, having resided with the artist’s estate since it was completed and in the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Collection since 2014.