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Roy Lichtenstein - Illustration for “Passage du Nord-Ouest”


From: La Nouvelle Chute de ’America

Original Etching with Aquatint, 1992, on Japan Nacre paper, Signed and dated ‘92, by the artist, in pencil lower right. Sold with this is the paper portfolio cover imprinted “Suite sur Japan Nacre”. This is framed beneath the piece to keep the two items together proving provenance from the portfolio

Edition:  42  - the unbound book edition was 80 and 45 hors commerce in Roman numerals),

Size: 48 x 35.5cm (Sheet size) ; 35.6 x 27.9 cms (Plate size)

Published by: Les Editions Du Solstice Paris, Including original paper folder

Printed by: Atelier Dupont-Visat, l'Inéditeur, Paris

Reference: Mary Lee Corlett: “The prints of Roy Lichtenstein” (Catalogue Raisonne) Number 267

Note: This is from a suit of 10 Etchings with Aquatint

In 1991, Lichtenstein was approached to provide illustrations for a French edition of Allen Ginsberg's “The New Fall of America”. Ginsberg selected 11 poems to be translated into French and Lichtenstein created 10 collages inspired by them, from which etchings were printed for the book. The imagery is characteristic of Lichtenstein's work in popular illustrations. The image of Ginsberg as a Buddha in a lotus pose, for instance, was inspired by a vignette symbolising meditation on a yoga class sheet. Other prints in the series show cubistic visions of the city and emblems of explosions alternating with more peaceful landscapes to provide a visual counterpart to Ginsberg's vivid evocation of contemporary America.

The piece Illustrates Ginsberg’s poem “Northwest Passage”, which details the harrowing consequences of local pollution and industrial reach. To this day, the Northwest Passage represents centuries of effort to find a route westward from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean. Ginsberg’s poem calls to attention the inherent financial and materialistic passage that this endeavour imposed across the North American continent. It is the only black and white work in the series, compiled out of broken black lines set against an off-white background.  Lichtenstein’s Passage Du Nord-Ouest appropriates the long standing tradition of saint portraiture, presenting a minimalistic depiction of Ginsberg as a divine spiritual leader.

Public Collections: Philadelphia Museum of Art. National Gallery of Art - Landover, MD 20785 ,

Condition: In excellent condition.