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Frank Stella, Bene come il sale, State III, from the Italian Folktales Series, 1989

Artist: Frank Stella (1936 - )
Title:Bene come il sale, State III, from the Italian Folktales Series, 1989
Reference:Axsom 184c
Series:Italian Folktales Series, 1988-89
Medium:Etching, aquatint, relief on white TGL handmade paper
Image:76 in x 59 in ( 193 cm x 149.9 cm)
Sheet:76 in x 59 in ( 193 cm x 149.9 cm)
Edition:Numbered from the edition of 5 in pencil in the lower right image.
Signature:This work is hand-signed by Frank Stella (Massachusetts, 1936 - ) in pencil in the lower right image.
Condition:This work is in excellent condition.
ID #W-7087

Historical Description

Frank Stella Bene come il sale, State III, 1989 is the fifth installment of the artist’s Italian Folktales Series of 1988-89. This work is the third of four variations of Stella’s Bene come il sale, 1989. The center of the composition is almost identical to the one that appears in Bene come il Sale, and the overall image is extremely similar to Bene come il Sale, State II. While the second state of this work is illustrated with a very dark grey background over a light grey ground, this state’s background is rendered in a deep rich black over the same light grey background. The contrast the background creates elevates the bright center of the work and makes it a sight to behold for the viewer. This work is a testament to the artist’s inclination towards nonrepresentational narrative. In this series, Stella employs aquatint printing for the first time to imitate the effect of oil paint brush strokes; this gives the work a hand-painted quality that gives the work a sense of tactility and profundity.

Frank Stella Bene come il sale, State III, 1989 is part of a portfolio of eight works in the artist’s Italian Folktales Series of 1988-89. This body of work inspired by his own Cones and Pillars paintings and his Illustrations After El Lissitzky’s Had Gadya Series from four years earlier. The titles of all works in the Italian Folktales works derive their names from Italian short stories. Also featured in this portfolio are La penna de hu, La penna di hu (black and white), Bene come il sale, Bene come il sale, State II, Bene come il sale, State II, Bene come il sale, State IV, and Giufa e la berretta rossa.

Created in 1988, this etching, aquatint, and relief on white TGL handmade paper is hand-signed by Frank Stella (Massachusetts, 1936 - ) in pencil in the lower right image and numbered from the edition of 5 in pencil in the lower right image.

Catalogue Raisonné & COA:

Frank Stella Bene come il sale, State III, from the Italian Folktales Series, 1989 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. The Prints of Frank Stella: A Catalogue Raisonné 1967–1984. Hudson Hills Press: New York, 1983. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 184b on pg. 286.
  2. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this artwork.

About the Framing:

Framed to museum-grade, conservation standards, Frank Stella Bene come il sale, State III, from the Italian Folktales Series, 1989 is presented in a complementary moulding and finished with silk-wrapped mats and optical grade Plexiglas.

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