Frank Stella, And the Holy One, Blessed Be He, from Illustrations After El Lissitzsky's Had Gadya, 1984

Artist: Frank Stella (1936 - 2024)
Title:And the Holy One, Blessed Be He, from Illustrations After El Lissitzsky's Had Gadya, 1984
Reference:Axsom 180
Series:Illustrations after El Lissitzky’s Had Gadya, 1984
Medium:Lithograph, linocut, and screenprint with hand-coloring and collage, on T.H. Saunders and Somerset papers
Image Size:51 in x 41 3/8 in (129.5 cm x 105.1 cm)
Sheet Size:51 in x 41 3/8 in (129.5 cm x 105.1 cm)
Framed Size:61 in x 51 3/8 in (154.94 cm x 129.54 cm)
Edition:Numbered from the edition of 60 in pencil in the lower center.
Signature:This work is hand signed and dated by Frank Stella (Massachusetts,1936 - ) in pencil in the lower center.
Condition:This work is in excellent condition.
ID #w-6748
$45,000 $38,000

Historical Description

Frank Stella, Had Gadya, In and the Holy One, Blessed Be He, 1984; Frank Stella engages twisting forms and vibrant color to create a vision of abstraction. Unlike the crisp lines of solid color and interlocking geometric shapes in the artist’s earlier work, this work playfully departs from visual regulation and order. During his early career as an artist, Stella articulated the notion that a picture was merely "a flat surface with paint on it—nothing more,” but And the Holy One, Blessed Be He, 1984, challenges the confinement of the flat surface. The white and gray undulating form to the upper right of the image breaks past the edge, as does the tip of the blue cylindrical-like tube pointed past the lower border of the image. The chaos of the composition also conveys a sense of movement that threatens the limits of the image.

Created in 1984, Frank Stella and the Holy One, Blessed Be He, is a lithograph, linocut, and screenprint with hand-coloring and collage on T.H. Saunders and Somerset papers. Published by Waddington Graphics, this work is hand signed and dated by Frank Stella (Massachusetts,1936 - ) and numbered from the edition of 60 in pencil in the lower center.

Frank Stella Had Gadya Series:

The American artist Frank Stella is renowned for his significant contributions to the minimalist and abstract expressionist art movements. While he is primarily associated with his minimalist works, Stella has explored various styles and themes throughout his career and artistic journey. One notable series by Frank Stella is the "Gadya" series, which he created in the late 1980s.

Consisting of a group of prints and sculptures, the “Gadya” series draws inspiration from the traditional Jewish Passover song called "Had Gadya," which recounts a fable-like story. Stella's interest in this song and its narrative structure led him to create a body of work that combines abstraction, color, and intricate compositions.

The "Gadya" series marked a departure from Stella's earlier minimalist approach, characterized by simple geometric shapes and monochromatic color palettes. In this series, Stella introduced more organic and curvilinear forms, vibrant colors, and complex layering techniques. The works display a dynamic energy, filled with movement and intricate interplay between shapes and colors.

One prominent aspect of the "Gadya" series is Stella's innovative use of collage and mixed media. He employed various materials, such as handmade paper, relief, and metallic paints, to create a tactile and textured surface. Stella's exploration of different materials adds depth and dimension to his works, enhancing the overall visual experience.

Each piece in the "Gadya" series showcases Stella's mastery of composition and his ability to create visually captivating arrangements. The works are composed of overlapping shapes, lines, and forms, creating a sense of depth and spatial complexity. Stella's use of bold colors and contrasting hues adds to the visual impact, evoking a vibrant and lively atmosphere.

While the series retains elements of abstraction, it also incorporates figurative and narrative elements. Stella's works reference the characters and themes from the Passover song, though the narratives are fragmented and open to interpretation. The series reflects Stella's interest in exploring the relationship between abstraction and storytelling, bridging the gap between the conceptual and the representational.

Stella's "Gadya" series received critical acclaim and further established his reputation as a versatile and innovative artist. The works were exhibited in various galleries and museums around the world, garnering attention for their vibrant compositions and fusion of abstraction and narrative elements.

This series stands as a testament to Frank Stella's artistic evolution and his ability to push boundaries within his practice. It showcases his willingness to experiment with new techniques, materials, and concepts while remaining true to his artistic vision. The series represents a departure from Stella's minimalist beginnings and demonstrates his ongoing exploration of form, color, and storytelling.

Catalogue Raisonné & COA:

Frank Stella and the Holy One, Blessed Be He, 1984, is fully documented and referenced in the below catalogue raisonnés and texts (copies will be enclosed as added documentation with the invoices that will accompany the sale of the work).

1. Axsom, Richard H. The Prints of Frank Stella: A Catalogue Raisonné. New York: Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, 2016. Frank Stella, Had Gadya, In And the Holy One, Blessed Be He, Came and Smote the Angel of Death, 1984 is listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 180 on pg. 271.
2. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany our Frank Stella, Had Gadya, In and the Holy One, Blessed Be He, Came and Smote the Angel of Death, 1984.

About the framing:

Framed to museum-grade, conservation standards, Frank Stella and the Holy One, Blessed Be He, 1984, is presented in a complementary moulding and finished with silk-wrapped mats and optical grade Plexiglas.

Subject Matter: Contemporary Biblical