FRANK STELLA "RABAT" SCREENPRINT, 1964
"Rabat" is an important work in Frank Stella's oeuvre as it is his first print, created in 1964. Unlike his future prints, this work was an adaptation of a gouache based on one of the paintings from the Moroccan Paintings series created that same year.
Stella was invited by the legendary Sam Wagstaff Jr., (who was then the curator of contemporary art at the Wadsworth Atheneum) to contribute a print to what would become the "Ten Works by Ten Painters" portfolio of screenprints.
The prints were created at the newly established Ives-Sillman studio in Connecticut. They would become one of the leading American printing workshops, and numerous high-profile artists created works there notably Josef Albers.
Stella was in good company. "Ten Works by Ten Painters" united the most ground-breaking, valuable, and influential artists of the era including Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, Ellsworth Kelly, and Andy Warhol to mention a few. While the prints were not signed, they have become highly sought-after by collectors not only for the quality of the screenprints but that the works individually have become icons of American art in the 1960s.
"Rabat" is a reminder of Stella's influence and proximity to the artistic developments of the 1960s including Op Art, Minimalism, hard-edge abstraction, and conceptual art. While "Rabat's" composition is made of alternating bands of vibrant sky blue and banana yellow, in a vertical and horizontal pattern, the unaligned placement tricks the eye into understanding that the composition rounds at the diagonal and appears to dip into itself.
From the Ten Works by Ten Painters portfolio (1964)
Screenprint on Mohawk Superfine Cover Paper
Ives-Sillman blind stamp, lower right corner
From an edition of 500
Published by Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford CT
Very good condition.
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