Large Lichtensteins Hit Hamptons

Water Mill, New York -- It took three flatbed trucks, two cranes and a crew of 20 to install Roy Lichtenstein’s sculptures of bold brushstrokes on the front lawn of the Parrish Art Museum.

Visible from Montauk Highway, the main artery through the tony Hamptons, these two totem-like structures that resemble a painting’s brushstrokes are on public display in the U.S. for the first time.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network will see these sculptures when they are stuck in traffic during summertime commutes to the Hamptons.

“Tokyo Brushstrokes I & II” is on long-term loan from Glenn Fuhrman, who runs MSD Capital LP, the money manager for Michael Dell, the billionaire founder and chief executive officer of Dell Inc.

Fuhrman and his wife, Amanda, collect contemporary art and run the exhibition space Flag Art Foundation in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The Fuhrmans own a home in the Hamptons.

Originally in Tokyo

The work, painted in yellow, red, blue, white and black and sporting Lichtenstein’s signature Ben-Day dots, is made of fabricated aluminum. It’s part of the artist’s “brushstroke” series of sculptures constructed mainly in the 1990s in various sizes.

"Tokyo Brushstrokes I & II” was made in 1994 for a site in Tokyo.

Other monumental brushstroke sculptures are in the collections of museums including the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

“A brushstroke is the signature gesture of the creative process,” Parrish Director Terrie Sultan said. Lichtenstein turned it into “an iconic three-dimensional object.”

The auction record for a Lichtenstein sculpture belongs to “Brushstroke Nude,” a single 12-foot-tall piece from 1993 that fetched $5.5 million in 2012, according to Artnet Worldwide Corp. The most expensive Lichtenstein painting sold for $56.1 million at Christie’s in 2013.

Hamptons Life

Lichtenstein (1923-1997), known for comic book-inspired paintings composed with Ben-Day dots, and his wife Dorothy began visiting the Hamptons, on the East end of Long Island, in the summer of 1967 and moved to Southhampton in 1970.

“They were deeply engaged in the life of the artist community out here,” Sultan said. “Roy played chess with Fairfield Porter and was friends with Larry Rivers.”

Porter, an American realist painter, lived in Southampton until his death in 1975. His estate donated about 250 of his works to the Parrish in 1979. Rivers, a Pop painter and sculptor who lived in Southampton, died in 2002.

The Lichtenstein sculpture’s verticality complements the museum’s 614-foot-long home designed by Herzog & de Meuron that opened in 2012.

“Tokyo Brushstrokes I & II” could be valued at more than $10 million.

Discussions about the loan began about a year ago between the Parrish and the Fuhrmans. The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, based in Manhattan, also was involved in the project. Dorothy Lichtenstein, the foundation’s president, is a Parrish board member.

View today's homepage Featured Art Video for a quick tour of the Parrish Art Museum.