Frank Stella became a printmaker in 1967, Marriage of Reason and Squalor (of Black Series II) was created in the year following this crucial debut year. 

Working at Gemini G.E.L. (one of the top American printing studios) Stella learned from his two previous groups of prints: "Star of Persia" and "Black Series I". 

To intensify the impact of the compositions Stella became more conscious of paper and ink choices. Stella wanted a stronger contrast between the two and was captivated by the "sooty richness of French Charbonnel black ink". 

The compositions of these prints directly related to Stella's most revolutionary "Black" paintings executed in 1959-1960.

The lines of Marriage of Reason and Squalor are specific and fastidious. Each measure exactly the same width and the exact distance apart from each other. Stella identified as a worker, laden with labor-intensive processes.  Stella famously said, "My work is based on the fact that only what can be seen there is there… What you see is what you see."

In Stella’s work, the print is all about the act of printing and it’s resulting impact, rather than representing an object or subject.

For more information about Stella's techniques, click here for the Tate's commentary on this body of work.

In addition to being one of the earliest prints Stella created, this example is framed in a period plexiglass box case for true aesthetic authenticity of the era.  

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

Signed, numbered and dated 1968 by the artist 

Lithograph on Barcham Green paper

15H 22"W 

Framed in original plexiglass box

Very good condition

Literature: pp. 69 & 73 "Frank Stella Prints: A Catalogue Raisonne" 2016, Axsom et all.

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