Frank Stella - 20th c. and Contemporary Art Day Sale - Morning Session New York Tuesday, December 8, 2020 | Phillips
  • "If you follow an edge of a given work visually and follow it through quickly, you find the sense of rhythm and movement that you get in music." —Frank StellaBaroque music and 3D-printing collide in Frank Stella's k.161b, 2011, a striking sculpture that epitomizes the artist's tireless vision, technical innovation and playful sense of experimentation. While harkening back to the geometric forms and vibrant colors of Stella's earlier practice, the present work belongs to the discrete series of sculptures Stella made by harnessing the creative potential of Rapid Prototyping: first digitally scanning handcrafted forms and found objects, then manipulating and reconfiguring these into complex sculptures in a computer-aided design program, before printing them into solid form with a 3D-printer. This work notably features both an enclosed and open star motif, widely considered the most singular, reoccurring form in Stella’s oeuvre. This important motif is currently subject of the exhibition Frank Stella’s Stars, A Survey at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.

    While working at the forefront of the latest technologies, Stella with k.161b  explores themes that take us back to the 17th century. A quintessential example of the artist’s Scarlatti series, the work’s title refers both to the Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) and to the Yale musicologist and harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick (1911-84). The latter notably popularized Scaralatti’s oeuvre, producing the definitive 1953 catalogue of harpsichord sonatas whereby each sonata was assigned a “K” number. Beyond the literal reference to these sonatas with their titles, these works by Stella evoke the music of Scarlatti through their visual rhythm in a manner that brilliantly expands upon Goethe’s maxim that architecture is frozen music.

    • Provenance

      Private Collection (acquired directly from the artist)

    • Exhibited

      New York, FreedmanArt, Frank Stella: New Work, May 12 - September 29, 2012
      New York, Freedman Art, Carved, Cast, Crushed, Constructed, March 8 - October 18, 2014

    • Literature

      Piri Halasz, "Frank Stella Evolves: The Scarlatti Series at Freedman Art", artcritical, August 20, 2012, online

    • Artist Biography

      Frank Stella

      American • 1936 - N/A

      One of the most important living artists, Frank Stella is recognized as the most significant painter that transitioned from Abstract Expressionism to Minimalism. He believes that the painting should be the central object of interest rather than represenative of some subject outside of the work. Stella experimented with relief and created sculptural pieces with prominent properties of collage included. Rejecting the normalities of Minimalism, the artist transformed his style in a way that inspired those who had lost hope for the practice. Stella lives in Malden, Massachusetts and is based in New York and Rock Tavern, New York.

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paint on 3D-printed epoxy resin
20 x 20 x 20 in. (50.8 x 50.8 x 50.8 cm)
Executed in 2011, this work is unique.

Full Cataloguing

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $75,600

Contact Specialist

John McCord
Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th c. and Contemporary Art Day Sale - Morning Session

New York 8 December 2020