Stolen Lichtenstein Painting Worth Four Million Discovered In Warehouse

Roy Lichtenstein

A painting by the American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein that was lost 42 years ago has reappeared in a New York City warehouse. Lawyers for Barbara Castelli, who inherited the gallery after her husband’s death in 1999, say the painting is worth $4 (£2.57m). A judge has issued a temporary restraining order barring the artwork from being removed from the warehouse. The black and white painting titled, “Electric Cord” was reported stolen after it was sent out to be restored by Gallery owner Leo Castelli in 1970. The oil on canvas was created in 1961 and portrays a coiled cord in black and white on canvas. The dealer had purchased it in the 1960s for $750

In 2007, Mr Castelli’s widow listed the painting with a registry of missing and stolen artwork and it was reported to the Lichtenstein foundation when someone offered it on the open market. Gallery owner, James Goodman, contacted the organisation looking for help authenticating the artwork, which was sitting in a storage facility on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Records show the painting had been shipped from a gallery in Bogota, Colombia, where it had been on exhibition.

Roy Lichtenstein,one of the leading Pop artists died in 1999 aged 73,  His work was heavily influenced by both contemporary  advertising and the comic book art. In the 1960s, his paintings were exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and James Rosenquist. In May, 2012, his work, Sleeping Girl sold at the auction house Sotheby’s for $44.8m (£28.8m).

A major new Lichtenstein Retrospective at Tate Modern in 2013 is scheduled. It will be the first full-scale retrospective of this artist in over twenty years. Co-organised by The Art Institute of Chicago and Tate Modern, it brings together 125 of his most definitive paintings and sculptures and will reassess his enduring legacy. Renowned for his works based on comic strips and advertising imagery, coloured with his signature hand-painted Benday dots, the exhibition showcases key paintings such as Look Mickey 1961 lent from the National Gallery Art, Washington and his monumental Artist’s Studio series of 1973–4.


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