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Quathlamba II Frank Stella

Artist

Frank Stella Malden, Massachusetts, 1936 –

Date 1968
Object type print
Medium, technique litograph
Dimensions

41 x 73.3 cm

Inventory number MO.91.89
Collection Department of Art after 1800
On view This artwork is not on display

Stella is one of the most influential American artists of the second half of our century. He earned his reputation as one of the most inventive painters of Post-Painterly Abstraction in the ‘60s with his shaped canvases, consisting of parallel streaks. He avoided any trace of the illusion of space or depth stressing the planarity and objective quality of the canvas instead. His pictures are normally not regular rectangles but adjust to the form constructed from geometrical units. Form and inner construction or structure are also inseparable. Stella elaborated the problems of form, structure and colour in systematic series, in cycles consistently following the variations of a theme to the end.
As already one of the most acknowledged abstract painters, he began to make prints at the Los Angeles publisher Gemini G.E.L. He continued the peculiar formal researches begun with his large painting, often reviving and spinning on the themes he had raised in the paintings. He applied the motifs of his striped paintings of 1964-65, and its typical subgroup, the Chevron pictures called thus with reference to the starting motif, for his first lithographs. Two, three or four chevron motifs in alternately changed positions and adjoining at the sides constitute forms of varying length (Axsom 21-28, 1968). When translating the ideas of paintings into the graphic medium, Stella at times modified the original elements. More importantly, however, a wider possibility was offered for the regulation of the permutation of geometrical forms, not always so exactly abided by in the paintings. The sensuality of the complete graphic series of small size had an important role in the crystallization of the conception and the further development of Stella’s pictorial world.

Ferenc Tóth

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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