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  • Provenance

    Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris

  • Exhibited

    Paris, Galerie Daniel Templon, Frank Stella: Oeuvres Récentes, September 25 - October 26, 1991

  • Literature

    Galerie Daniel Templon, ed., Frank Stella: Oeuvres Récentes, Paris, 1991, n.p. (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    In addition to the architecturally-scaled sculptures Frank Stella has produced over the last decade, the artist has developed another body of three-dimensional metal work that evolved directly from the aluminum wall reliefs of the late 1980s. Characterized by poured aluminum and conventional castings with found metal objects, the artist refers to these works as Easel Paintings, as he believes they relate to painting as well as wall sculpture. The transition from the wall to the floor was a serendipitous event; for the 1991 Whitney Biennial, Stella had produced a large relief not unlike the present lot, which was meant to be mounted on the wall. The wall was unable to support the weight of the piece so the artist improvised by propping the work on an overturned foundry easel thus transforming the work into a free standing relief. This positioning created a stunning effect; the work functions primarily as pictorially frontal, but the freestanding support provides views from all angles.
    The reference to painting in this series of works goes beyond the pictorial frontality and the existence of easel support. While the artist was fabricating each work, he was literally painting with molten aluminum and other metals.This course of action provided him with the freedom lacking in painted relief, in which the design of the work normally dominates the creative process. In his Easel Paintings, Stella discovered the ability to paint by pouring molten metal over a loose, improvised structure which gave way for the pieces to function more as a kind of fluid collage rather than a conventionally structured relief. Although Stella had been using aluminum in his work since his first shaped canvases of the early 1960s, the sheen cast by the metal in this series creates its own illusionistic space and helps to define the work as a fusion of the notions of painting and sculpture. The result is a rare blend of compositional, pictorial harmony and powerful three dimensional drama.

  • Artist Biography

    Frank Stella

    American • 1936 - N/A

    Recognized as one of the most important postwar American artists, Frank Stella pioneered Minimalism with his monochrome “Black Paintings” of the late 1950s that marked a decisive departure from Abstract Expressionism. Concerned with the formal over representative elements of painting, Stella has developed a rich oeuvre reflecting his explorations on painting as an object through his investigations on color, shape, and composition. By the 1960s, Stella turned to bright colors and worked with shaped canvases that radically deemed form itself as content. After briefly experimenting with relief and collage, he ultimately turned to freestanding large-scale sculptures and architectural projects. Still working today in New York City, Stella remains the youngest artist to have had a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1970 and the first living artist to have had another the following decade in 1987.

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Raft of the Medusa, Part IV

Stainless steel, bronze, copper, aluminum and carbon steel.
121 x 86 1/2 x 75 in. (307.3 x 219.7 x 190.5 cm).

$400,000 - 600,000 

Contemporary Art Part I

15 May 2008, 7pm
New York