FRANK STELLA "QUATHLAMBA I", 1968
Frank Stella is an essential figure in the evolution of 20th century abstraction. He is considered the most influential American painter from the generation that abandoned and surpassed Abstract Expressionism.
Frank Stella became a printmaker in 1967 at Gemini G.E.L. (one of the top American printing studios). After his two previous groups of prints, "Star of Persia" and "Black Series I", Stella created the “V series” referencing his iconic geometric shaped canvases.
These works, created with metallic inks, are significantly different from the other prints of this era since the compositions are centered on the sheet, instead of Stella's preferred 'justified left' approach
The individual titles from the "V Series" were derived from the names of historic ships, which themselves came from the world of flora and fauna. "Quathlamba" is the local Zulu name for the Eastern, sea-sloping side of the Drakensberg mountain range in South Africa. It is also the name of a British iron barge from the late 1800's. Like many of Stella's works the title has an inherent ambiguity.
Essential to Stella's practice, there is no allusion to narrative, the unconscious, or symbolism within his work. His work forces the viewer to observe and simply enjoy. As Stella famously said "What you see is what you get".
The work can be found in many important museum collections around the world including the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, the National Gallery of Australia and the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam) to mention a few.
For more information about Stella's techniques, click here for the Tate's commentary on this body of work.
Additional images available on request.
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Signed, numbered and dated 1968 in pencil by the artist
From an edition of 100
Lithograph with varnish on Lowell paper
16.25"H 29"W (work)
Stamped on verso Gemini G.E.L. Los Angeles, Calif.
Very good condition.
Detailed condition report by request
Literature: The Prints of Frank Stella: A Catalogue Raisonné 1967-1982, Axsom, pl.23, pg. 80 .
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