Roy Lichtenstein


September 15–October 3, 1998
Beverly Hills

Roy Lichtenstein, Two Nudes, 1995 Oil and magna on canvas, 84 × 120 inches (213.4 × 304.8 cm)

Roy Lichtenstein, Two Nudes, 1995

Oil and magna on canvas, 84 × 120 inches (213.4 × 304.8 cm)


Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition of large-scale paintings by the late artist Roy Lichtenstein. This body of work, completed during the 1990s, solely depicts the female nude.

The highly sexualized portrayal of women has been of paramount importance to Lichtenstein’s work since his earliest Pop paintings. The actual nude, however, appeared as a subject most prominently in works made during the artist’s last decade. In several instances, later paintings like Nude with Beach Ball (1994) clearly refer to works from the 1960s, such as Girl with Ball (1961).

Comparative pictures such as these emphasize the unique characteristics of Lichtenstein’s later paintings: larger areas of white, and a palette of extremely clear and vivid color. In the classic Pop paintings, the allover Benday dots mimicked the crude techniques of tabloid illustration. In the later paintings, the dots appear in cloud-like patches that express the effervescence of space and form.

The Nudes inhabit the ether of virtual reality more than the material world of comic books and cartoons. The intense and clear white ground and the overall impression of infinite space and “air” are in sympathy with the literal stripping of the female subjects to reveal their blatant and uncomplicated erotic availability. In these paintings, the hyper-world of virtual space opens an infinity of carnal and imaginative license and desire.