M-Maybe – Roy Lichtenstein


Lichtenstein’s first solo show at The Leo Castelli Gallery in February 1962 sold out before opening. Engagement Ring sold for $1200 and Blam sold for $1000. Prices for his work rose quickly. In 1965, German collector Peter Ludwig asked Castelli, what price Lichtenstein might accept to sell M-Maybe from his personal collection. By then, the going rate for a Lichtenstein was $6000 and Castelli estimated $12,000. Ludwig offered Lichtenstein $30,000 to purchase the work.

M-Maybe depicts an blonde attractive girl, which is typical of Lichtenstein’s romance comics adaptations. As is a common theme among these works, she awaits a man in a vague but urban setting. The thought bubble reads “M–Maybe he became ill and couldn’t leave the studio”. The text and her expression jointly capture her continuing worry and anticipation. David Britt likens the work to Victorian narrative painting because Lichtenstein invites much speculation with the work, including the identities of the present and absent subjects of the work as well as the “nature of the situation”. I.e, what might be holding up his arrival.

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M-Maybe – Roy Lichtenstein
Year 1965
Movement Pop art
Dimensions 152.4 cm × 152.4 cm
Location Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany