Fine Prints & Photography Online Auction

October 06, 2016

LOT 23

Lot 23

Frank Stella (1936-)

Frank Stella (1936-)
Lot 23 Details
Frank Stella (1936-), American


Colour silkscreen with colour lithograph and linocut, with handcolouring, marbling and collage on heavy T.H. Saunders and Somerset wove paper; signed, dated ‘88 and numbered 48/60 in pencil on the image lower right (there were also 10 artist’s proofs). Published by Waddington Graphics, London, UK. Printed by Spencer Tomkins and James Wetly by Atelier Frank Stella.
Sheet 74.5" x 54.5" — 189.2 x 138.4 cm.

Estimate $6,000-$8,000

Realised: $5,520
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
Frank Stella (1936-)
  • Frank Stella (1936-)
  • Frank Stella (1936-)

Prominent Private Collection


Fresh off the heels of an immensely successful retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art earlier this year, Frank Stella has re-affirmed his iconic status of American Postwar abstraction. Moving away from Minimalism, (a movement that the artist had revolutionized in the 1960s), The Pacific bears resemblance to Abstract Expressionism, bringing forth a vibrancy, where Stella leaves his inhibitions run free – not only through the print’s visual qualities, but also his mastery of a third dimension in printmaking.

Stella provides the onlooker an intimate view of the work, by bringing forth the deepest recesses of the print through the engagement of a variety of techniques that Stella credits himself of inventing. A pioneering force for a re-energized enthusiasm for printmaking in the United States, in The Pacific’s delightful mélange of silkscreen, handcolouring, marbelling, and collage, Stella solidifies his position as a real innovator of his craft.

The Pacific displays the virtues of three-dimensional illusionism through a two-dimensional language – a trick mastered by Stella’s Baroque ancestor, Caravaggio. Viewers are invited to enter Stella’s world through the many portals found within the external borders of the composition; semblance of unformed shapes and hybrids, materialized though collage and paint. The heart of the print is a sophisticated layering; first, deeply rooted within the semi-circular formations of Stella’s own creation, an homage to the artist’s Harran series in deconstructed portions, even to their fine colour palette of marbelling.While in the foreground, a brightly outlined, crisp crimson rectangular frame (a seminal colour, that Stella revisits continually in his art – see Sacramento series), lays bear the soul of The Pacific. A free flowing organic being that materializes from the small aperture in the centre of the composition. While delightful, yet shadowy vapours of black and grey hues emanate from this complex being – show praise for the spontaneous quality of the work, an intellectual edginess that represents the unrestrained vision of The Pacific.


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 23

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.