Frank Stella Exotic Bird Series, 1977

Frank Stella Eskimo Curfew, 1977, Exotic Bird Series, 1977
Frank Stella Eskimo Curfew, 1977, Exotic Bird Series, 1977

This six print series by Frank Stella is based off of the configurations of the  metal-relief paintings. In all six of these prints, you can the graph paper in the background is visible.

Frank Stella Puerto Rican Blue Pigeon, 1977, Exotic Bird Series, 1977
Frank Stella Puerto Rican Blue Pigeon, 1977, Exotic Bird Series, 1977
Frank Stella Noguchi's Okinawa Woodpecker 1977, Exotic Bird Series, 1977
Frank Stella Noguchi’s Okinawa Woodpecker 1977, Exotic Bird Series, 1977

Each print’s name corresponds to the names of endangered and extinct birds such as: Puerto Rican Blue Pigeon and the Okinawa Woodpecker. Due to the subdued colors and graph patterns, the prints have an active working quality to them. Made concurrently along with the metal relief paintings, these have diverse alterations in color and finish.

Frank Stella Eskimo Curfew, 1976, Litho crayon, etching, lacquer, ink, glass, acrylic paint, and oil stick on aluminum , Portland Art Museum
Frank Stella Eskimo Curfew, 1976, Litho crayon, etching, lacquer, ink, glass, acrylic paint, and oil stick on aluminum , Portland Art Museum

Compared to the Eskimo Curfew, 1977 in the print series, his metal relief painting is much more three dimensional. Not only are the colors different in scheme and tone, but the impression of the art itself is much more tactile.  Interesting enough, the prints did not serve as preparatory sketches. Stella’s Exotic Bird Series alternated between prints and paintings around the same time where one can see the similarities and differences reflect each other.

Frank Stella Inaccessible Island Rail 1977, Exotic Bird Series, 1977
Frank Stella Inaccessible Island Rail 1977, Exotic Bird Series, 1977

 

Frank Stella Mysterious Bird of Ulieta 1977, Exotic Bird Series, 1977
Frank Stella Mysterious Bird of Ulieta 1977, Exotic Bird Series, 1977

Furthermore, Stella incorporates motifs such as: French curves, ship curves, and straightedges, all of which are draftman’s tools. Although his paintings contain brighter and more saturated colors, this series was one of the first to incorporate the merging of lithography and screenprinting.

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