Frank Stella is one of the great American artists associated with the Minimalism movement of the 1960s. Minimalism spanned many artistic fields, from the compositions of musician Philip Glass, to the plays of Samuel Beckett. In terms of the visual arts, it is characterised by an often 'hard-edged' take on abstraction and a systemic approach to painting, often formed of geometric shapes depicted in highly saturated 'fields' of colour. Stella is regarded as one of the pioneers of this new approach, though many included under the Minimalism banner rejected the categorisation of their work as a cohesive movement as such. Stella struck out on his career path as an artist largely independently and with a clear, singular vision for the work he wanted to create.
Having been influenced early on by the precise, tonal works of European modernists like the Bauhaus' Josef Albers, Stella very deliberately chose to move away and past the dense, gestural approach to abstraction made famous by Abstract Expressionists like Jackson Pollok. In antithesis, his work sought to elevate the picture as object, as opposed to the picture as cipher for something tangible in the physical world, or as representative of the artist's own interior life and emotions. Where the previous school had sought to capture feeling and painterly movement in the immediate post-war years, Stella and his contemporaries were cool and detached.
We are pleased to offer three examples of his works in print for sale. Though painting (and latterly sculpture) dominated his output, print making was an integral and significant area of his practise. Indeed it became one of his primary interests for the 60s and 70s, to the extent that he installed a print works in his studio in 1973. Here he experimented, often layering, as here in 'Tuftonboro', two techniques in one; in this case lithography and screenprinting.
Stella's work is featured in the collections of important institutions around the world. In 1970, he became the youngest artist to be the subject of a major solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 2009, Stella was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama.
AUCTION | Contemporary & Post-War Art | Thursday 15 Aug 2019 11:00am
VIEWING | Sunday 11 August 12pm-4pm | Monday 12th - Wednesday 14 August 10am-5pm
LOCATION | 33 Broughton Place, Edinburgh