Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But...

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Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But...
ArtistRoy Lichtenstein
Year1964
MovementPop art
Dimensions121.9 cm × 121.9 cm (48 in × 48 in)
LocationPrivate collection

Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But... (sometimes Oh, Jeff) is a 1964 oil and magna on canvas painting by Roy Lichtenstein. Like many of Lichtenstein's works its title comes from the speech balloon in the painting.

Although many sources, such as the Encyclopedia of Art, describe Whaam! and Drowning Girl as Lichtenstein's most famous works,[1][2] artist Vian Shamounki Borchert believes it is this piece, calling it his Mona Lisa.[3] Borchert notes that this painting captures "the magic" of its "anguished and yes [sic] beautiful blue eyed, blond hair, full lips" female subject while presenting "sad eyes that seem to give in to what seems to be a doomed love affair".[3]

Measuring 121.9 cm × 121.9 cm (48 in × 48 in), Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But... is among the most famous of his early romance comic derivative works from the period when he was adapting cartoons and advertisements into his style via Ben-Day dots. The work is said to depict the classic romance-comic story line of temporary adversity.[4] Lichtenstein's sketch for this was done in graphite and colored pencils on paper in a 4 3/4 x 4 3/4 inches (12.1 x 12.1 cm) scale.[5]

In the early 1960s, Lichtenstein produced several "fantasy drama" paintings of women in love affairs with domineering men causing women to be miserable, such as Drowning Girl, Hopeless and In the Car. These works served as prelude to 1964 paintings of innocent "girls next door" in a variety of tenuous emotional states such as in Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But....[6] Using only a single frame from its source, Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But...'s graphics are quite indicative of frustration, but the text in the speech balloon augment the romantic context and the emotional discord.[7] After 1963, Lichtenstein's comics-based women "...look hard, crisp, brittle, and uniformly modish in appearance, as if they all came out of the same pot of makeup." This particular example is one of several that is cropped so closely that the hair flows beyond the edges of the canvas.[8] This was painted at the apex of Lichtenstein's use of enlarged dots, cropping and magnification of the original source.[9] The tragic situations of his subjects makes his works a popular draw at museums.[3]

The painting was sold for $210,000 (US$746,000 in 2022 dollars[10]) on May 15, 1980 at Sotheby's, New York.[11] At the time, the work was part of the Abrams family collection.[12] As of February 3, 1994, the Los Angeles Times reported that it was part of the Stefan Edlis Collection.[13]

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Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Roy Lichtenstein: Biography of American Pop Artist, Comic-Strip-style Painter". Encyclopedia of Art. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  2. ^ Cronin, Brian (May 29, 2012). Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent?: And Other Amazing Comic Book Trivia!. Penguin Books. ISBN 9781101585443. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Vian Shamounki, Borchert (December 11, 2012). "Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC". Gaithersburg Patch. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  4. ^ Stokstad, Marilyn (1995). "Art in the United States And Europe since World War II". Art History. Prentice Hall, Inc. and Harry N. Abrams, Inc. p. 1129. ISBN 0-8109-1960-5. Oh, Jeff, for example, compresses into a single frame the generic romance-comic story line, in which two people fall in love, face some sort of crisis, or "but," that temporarily threatens their relationship, and then live happily ever after.
  5. ^ "Drawing for Oh Jeff...I Love You Too...But". Lichtenstein Foundation. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  6. ^ Waldman, Diane (1993). Roy Lichtenstein. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. p. 113. ISBN 0-89207-108-7. In other paintings by Lichtenstein, women are engaged in a series of fantasy dramas. Hopeless (fig. 104), Drowning Girl (fig. 106), and In the Car (fig. 103), all from 1963, and We Rose Up Slowly (fig. 108), 1964, revolve around love affairs in which the men are clearly in control and the women are usually depicted as miserable. These paintings set the state for a series of "girls" in various states of apparent anxiety, nervousness, or fear, most of whom are portrayed as "the girl next door" or the innocent seductress, as in Blonde Waiting (fig. 112), Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But... (fig. 111), Good Morning Darling, and Seductive Girl, all from 1964. The women protagonists in these dramas enact scenes filled with fabricated emotions.
  7. ^ Coplans, John, ed. (1972). Roy Lichtenstein. Praeger Publishers. p. 16. ...the inclusion of the encapsulated legend "Oh, Jeff, I love you too, but..." immediately throws the image into a romantic context of unrequited passion.
  8. ^ Coplans, John, ed. (1972). "Introduction, Biographical Notes, Chronology of Imagery and Art". Roy Lichtenstein. Praeger Publishers. p. 23. Very often a head is cropped to such an extent that the hair flows outside the borders of the format...
  9. ^ Rondeau, James; Wagstaff, Sheena (2012). Rigas, Maia M. (ed.). Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective. Art Institute of Chicago. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-300-17971-2.
  10. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  11. ^ "Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923–1997): Oh Jeff, I love you too, but..." Blouin Art Sales Index. Retrieved May 15, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Contemporary Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture". Art in America. Vol. 68, no. 5. May 1980. p. 29.
  13. ^ Loper, Mary Lou (February 3, 1994). "Good Grief! Show Will Salute Schulz". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 15, 2012.

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