Christie’s recently announced that it will sell Mirror #5 by Roy Lichtenstein in this season’s 20th Century Evening Sale, taking place on Thursday, 17 November 2022 during Marquee Week at Rockefeller Center. The work is estimated at $3,500,000 – 5,500,000. Proceeds of the sale will benefit the reproductive justice (RJ) movement and a portion of the proceeds will be matched by Art for Justice (A4J) and donated to Groundswell Fund, one of the largest funders of the reproductive justice movement and of women-of-colour-led organizing in the United States.
Gund has also pledged a portion of the sale’s proceeds to YWCA of Kalamazoo, whose Get Out The Vote (GOTV) initiative aims to provide voter education on the Right to Reproductive Freedom Initiative to over 40,000 Michigan voters on 8 November 2022.
In 2017, Gund sold her treasured Lichtenstein Masterpiece in 1962 to invest $100,000,000 in the founding of A4J. Since its launch, the Fund has aligned artists, advocates, and allied donors to elevate the power of art to end mass incarceration. Similarly, Gund’s sale of The Mirror #5 transforms a second beloved Lichtenstein into a tool for supporting consequential policy outcomes.
Agnes Gund, Philanthropist and Patron of the Arts, remarks, “I felt compelled to part with this beloved work by an artist who means so much to me because I believe in the power of art as a tool for advocacy and inspiration. With the rising tide of legal challenges that undermine basic reproductive rights and criminalize women—most particularly the poor, people of color, and young or vulnerable women—the efforts of Groundswell Fund and YWCA of Kalamazoo allow us to re-build a future of equity and justice.”
Dorothy Lichtenstein, President of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, “Roy always believed in women’s rights. He would be enormously proud that proceeds from the sale of his work would support these worthy organizations.”
Sara Friedlander, Christie’s Deputy Chairman, remarks, “Christie’s is honoured to support the auction of this Lichtenstein, recognizing Agnes Gund’s unparalleled philanthropic contributions, which have inspired a new generation of collectors and donors who are using the power of the art market to create change.
Referred to by ARTnews in 1971 as ‘encyclopedic allusions to art history, Roy Lichtenstein’s iconic Mirror paintings are the synthesis of all things ‘Pop’ in Post-War American painting. Lichtenstein began the series in 1969, as he toyed with the idea of the reflection based on images of mirrors modelled on illustrations in the catalogues he found in the Bowery or reproductions from one of his regular sources, like the Yellow Pages.
Simultaneously representational and abstract, Mirror #5 expands upon the artist’s initial exploration of formal issues and turns a relatively banal subject into the focal point of a dialogue between Modern and contemporary art and culture. Other examples from this celebrated series live in some of the most prominent institutions in the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, The Art Institution of Chicago and The Broad Art Foundation.
The present example dates from 1970 and was acquired by legendary collector and philanthropist Agnes Gund directly from the Galerie Beyeler in Basel.”