Leslie Sacks Contemporary is pleased to announce an exhibition of Frank Stella prints. The exhibition will feature works from the 1970s and 1980s, including pieces from the series Exotic Birds, 1970; Polar Co-ordinates, 1980; Circuits, 1982; and The Waves, 1985-89.
Frank Stella burst onto the art scene in 1960 with his Black Paintings, which were showcased in a groundbreaking exhibition at the Leo Castelli gallery and “Sixteen Americans” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. These works exhibited Stella’s concern with geometry, as well as the precision and rationality that characterized Minimalism. By the late 1960s, however, his compositions had become less rigid and his palette more complex, giving way to the curved, yet controlled lines and juxtaposing colors of the Protractor Series, 1967-69. It was in 1967 that Stella met master printer Ken Tyler at the renowned print atelier Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, who persuaded the artist to make his first print. So began a life-long collaboration between Stella and Tyler, who would continue to make prints together for over thirty years.
Over time, Stella’s prints became increasingly innovative. Earlier works followed the initial minimalist aesthetic of his paintings and adhered to traditional printing methods, but throughout the 1970s, Stella’s forms became more dynamic and the artist’s brushstroke became visible. By 1980, the Polar Co-ordinates Series had Stella experimenting more freely with combinations of shapes, colors, brushstrokes and printing techniques. The grids of his early work remained an integral part of the prints, appearing as superimposed netting across Stella’s forms. The Polar Co- ordinates Series, created with Petersburg Press, required numerous layers of lithography and screenprinting, displaying the growing complexity of Stella’s print work.
Stella’s mastery of the printmaking process continued to evolve in his late 1980s work, including the Circuit Series, 1982 and The Waves Series, 1985-89. These works are notable for their monumental scale and rich texture and were innovative accomplishments achieved through Stella’s collaboration with Ken Tyler. In the Circuit Series, etching and engraving were used for the first time in Stella’s career. The flamboyant forms and experimental relief work of these pieces made them more visually dynamic and technically advanced than any series that had come before.
Frank Stella is considered one of the most important contemporary artists and printmakers. His work can be found worldwide in the permanent collections of museums, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of
American Art, New York; Kunstmuseum, Basel; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Thyseen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid. He received the National Medal of Arts in 2009.