Private Collection, Sherman Oaks Estate Sale, Holland, Michigan, June - July 2018 Acquired from the above sale by the present owner
Executed in 1965, Richard Pettibone's ‘Roy Lichtenstein, 'Ball of Twine', 1963,’ is a masterful interrogation of the semiotics of authorship. The present work depicts Lichtenstein's eponymous ball of twine from two angles on separate canvases, placed on top of each other to create a wholly original composition. Part of Pettibone's foundational 1964-1967 series in which the artist copied Contemporary artworks from the pages of Artforum, ‘Roy Lichtenstein, 'Ball of Twine', 1963,’ brings together the stacked canvases of Jasper Johns’ Flag paintings and Roy Lichtenstein’s appropriation of mass imagery with a Duchampian attitude towards originality and the foundations of authenticity undergirding art. Stamped with both the name of the original work by Lichtenstein, and its own title, the present work is an enduring exemplar of Pettibone’s groundbreaking conceptual process, epitomizing the artist’s ethos, that: “it's fairly original not to be original" (Richard Pettibone, as quoted in "Richard Pettibone," ‘Culture Hero: A Fanzine of Stars to the Super World,’ no. 5, 1970).
This work is in very good condition overall. There is a surface layer of dust, primarily visible at the edges of the canvas. There is minor, stable cracking to the pigment at the extreme edges, visible upon close inspection. There are faint passages of pale yellow accretions to the center of the smaller canvas and the lower corners of the larger canvas, visible upon close inspection. There are scattered, faint linear abrasions, visible upon close inspection and most notably a 1/4 inch vertical abrasion to the lower right corner of the larger canvas. There is a pinpoint accretion just above the larger ball of twine. Under Ultraviolet light inspection there is no evidence of restoration. Framed in the artist's chosen frame. The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.