Frank Stella, Shards I, 1982

Artist: Frank Stella (1936 - 2024)
Title:Shards I, 1982
Medium:Color Lithograph and Screenprint
Image Size:45 1/2 in x 39 3/4 in (115.6 cm x 101 cm)
Sheet Size:45 1/2 in x 39 3/4 in (115.6 cm x 101 cm)
Edition:Numbered from the edition of 100 in pencil in the lower right; published by Petersburg Press, New York
Signature:This work is hand signed by Frank Stella (Massachusetts,1936 - ) in pencil in the lower right.
Condition:This work is in excellent condition.
ID #W-7440

Historical Description

The Shards series by Frank Stella includes five lithographs on screenprinted paper that explode with layers of bright color and jagged shapes. The term “shards” effectively describes the content of the images in this series by evoking broken fragments and sharp edges, alluding to both the method in which Stella created the images in the series as well as the visual content of the images themselves. Stella formed the configurations of the Shards prints by using uncolored cutouts of shapes from the Shards paintings as working models. The grid system motifs that appear in the paintings are also translated into the Shards prints as well, which creates a wavy netlike pattern that appears in each image of the series. To create the images in the series, Stella arranged scrap material into various collages, a creative process that became increasingly more common to the artist’s oeuvre. In Frank Stella Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné, Richard H. Axsom notes the “French curves, ‘cookie cutouts,’ the serpentine and the heart-shaped form” that relate back to the forms in Stella’s Circuits paintings (238). In addition to incorporating old motifs into his Shards series, Stella also introduced the image of the pantograph, a draftman’s device for duplicating and enlarging forms. The visual representation of such an antiquated apparatus serves an allusion to the modern laser tool that Stella used to cut out metal shapes for his paintings. Through the playful layering of floating abstract shapes and bright colors, each work in Frank Stella’s Shards series becomes a unique visual experience of movement and rhythm.

The first of five works from the Shards series, Frank Stella Shards I, 1982 features a beautifully complex amalgamation of hard-edge and organic forms rendered in vibrant hues. A patch rich cerulean blue covered in a netlike grid fills the right side of the composition, while a large square form fits into the upper left corner, and a slanting, table-like form occupies the lower half of the composition. Organic, undulating lines and shapes reside in the lower left corner and lie on top of the table-like form, creating the illusion of perspectival depth and three-dimensionality. The crisscrossing red angles to the right of the composition evoke the shape of a pantograph, which alludes to Stella’s method of creating the collage of forms in this image. Filled with contorting shapes and jarring colors, Frank Stella Shards I, 1982 is a hallmark of Stella’s iconic abstract style.

Created in 1982, this lithograph and screenprint is hand signed and dated by Frank Stella (Massachusetts, 1936 - ) and numbered from the edition of 100 in pencil in the lower right margin. This work was published by Petersburg Press, New York.

Catalogue Raisonné & COA:
Frank Stella Shards I, 1982 is fully documented and referenced in the below catalogue raisonnès and texts (copies will be enclosed as added documentation with the invoices that will accompany the final sale of the work).

1. Axsom, Richard H. The Prints of Frank Stella: A Catalogue Raisonné. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1983. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 144.
2. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this work.

About the Framing:
Framed to museum-grade conservation standards, Frank Stella Shards I, 1982 is presented in a complementary moulding with silk mats and optical-grade Plexiglas.