Frank Stella - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Thursday, November 13, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Level VI B, Shrine VI, 2001, is exemplary of Frank Stella’s sculptural mastery of abstracted coloration. This large wall sculpture appears as a stratified, archaeological cut-away rendered in bright hues of pink, turquoise, green and red. A metal pipe dissects this geometric cube and protrudes from either side. As a master of the minimal, Stella has explained that his interest in the sculpture was spurred by his passion for architecture and has said that he wanted to “set painting free from the wall.” (J. Russell, “CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK: Frank Stella Builds a Landmark Out of Romanticism and Steel; A Monumental Sculpture Is Headed for Washington,” The New York Times, May 17, 2001). Stella explains that “I don’t know how I got into sculpture. I liked its physicality, that’s the only reason. I didn’t have a program….The paintings got sculptural because the forms got more complicated. I’ve learned to weave in and out. The earlier pieces themselves are stiff, while the recent pieces are individually more manipulated. They are more complex to begin with, but their organization, the way they end up being put together, isn’t that different. You can’t shake your own sensibility.” (Frank Stella in “Frank Stella by Saul Ostrow; BOMB --- Artists in Conversation,” BOMB Magazine, Spring 2000).

    Stella has never wanted to limit himself within his artistic limitations and the present lot demonstrates that, within the latter part of his career, his work has only been more intriguing in form. “Making art is complicated because the categories are always changing. You just have to make your own art, and whatever categories it falls into will come later. Making art, for me, is the opportunity to be free of one's own identity. It's not about finding one's identity, no matter what the psychologists say. It's about losing one's identity. I want to make something great that applies to everyone. Then I myself can be submerged.'' (J. Russell, “CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK: Frank Stella Builds a Landmark Out of Romanticism and Steel; A Monumental Sculpture Is Headed for Washington,” The New York Times, May 17, 2001).

  • 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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Level VI B, Shrine VI

enamel on cast aluminum
74 3/4 x 72 5/8 x 30 3/4 in. (190 x 184.5 x 78 cm)

$150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for $161,000

Contact Specialist
Kate Bryan
Head of Day Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1267

Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York Auction 14 November 2014 11am