Frank Stella Unbound: Literature and Printmaking

 
Frank Stella, Cantahar, 1998. Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Tyler Graphics Ltd. 1974-2001 Collection, given in honor of Frank Stella/© 2017 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The acclaimed American artist Frank Stella (born 1936) is renowned for his career-long innovations in abstraction in a variety of media. In addition to his early minimalist work, from the late 1950s and 1960s, and his later efforts to disrupt the accepted norms of painting, Stella made groundbreaking achievements in the print medium, combining printmaking processes, mining new sources for imagery, and expanding the technical capacity of the press.

Frank Stella Unbound: Literature and Printmaking focuses on a revolutionary period in the artist’s printmaking career, between 1984 and 1999, when Stella executed four ambitious print series, each of which was named after a distinct literary work: the Passover song Had Gadya, a compilation of Italian folktales, the epic American novel Moby-Dick, and the illustrated The Dictionary of Imaginary Places. In the four series titled after these sources, Stella created prints of unprecedented scale and complexity, transforming his own visual language—as well as his working process in all media—and reaching a technical and expressive milestone in printmaking.

Featuring forty-one prints from these four major series alongside their literary catalysts, Frank Stella Unbound: Literature and Printmaking will be the first exhibition to focus exclusively on the vital role that world literature played in his powerful exploration of the print medium.

The exhibition catalogue, published by the Princeton University Art Museum and distributed by Yale University Press, illustrates each of the works on view and affords a revelatory examination of the role of literature in the development of Frank Stella’s artistic practice.

 

 

Frank Stella Unbound: Literature and Printmaking has been made possible with generous support from the Barr Ferree Foundation Fund for Publications, Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University; the Andrew W. Mellon Publications Fund; the National Endowment for the Arts; Preston H. Haskell, Class of 1960; the Douglas A. Hirsch and Holly S. Andersen Family Foundation; Susan and John Diekman, Class of 1965; the Julis Rabinowitz Family; Theodora D. Walton, Class of 1978, and William H. Walton III, Class of 1974; Stacey Roth Goergen, Class of 1990, and Robert B. Goergen; Nancy A. Nasher, Class of 1976, and David J. Haemisegger, Class of 1976; and William S. Fisher, Class of 1979, and Sakurako Fisher, through the Sakana Foundation. Additional support has been provided by the Judith and Anthony B. Evnin, Class of 1962, Exhibitions Fund; the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; the Allen R. Adler, Class of 1967, Exhibitions Fund; Lynn and Robert F. Johnston, Class of 1958; Ivy Lewis; Blair Moll, Class of 2010, through the Bagley and Virginia Wright Foundation; and the Partners of the Princeton University Art Museum.