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Roy Lichtenstein

Indian Paddling Canoe

oil on canvas
1956
77 x 101 cm / 30 3/8 x 39 3/4 in.
signed lower right

In December of 1949, after completing his Master of Arts, Lichtenstein borrowed a book on the 19th century American painter George Catlin. Catlin had travelled through the “Wild West”, painting more than 500 portraits. The portraits are today in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Lichtenstein was fascinated by the book’s illustrations. From then on Native Americans and motifs associated with the West would appear in his works. Lichtenstein said about these works that they were "mostly reinterpretations of those artists concerned with the opening of the West, with a subject matter of cowboys, Indians, treaty signings, a sort of Western official art in a style broadly influenced by modern European painting." In December 1951, the artist had a solo exhibition at John Heller Gallery in New York, consisting of sixteen paintings based on American frontier themes and several self-portraits as a knight. In 1957, Lichtenstein bought his first home at 2421 Edgehill road in Cleveland Heights and set up a studio there. He still was not able to make a living with his art, but had to work as an engineering draftsman at Republic Steel Company. In January of that year he had a solo exhibition at John Heller Gallery in New York with paintings on Americana themes, which included the present work. Provenance available

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