Frank Stella, Shards III, 1982

Artist: Frank Stella (1936 - 2024)
Title:Shards III, 1982
Medium:Color Lithograph and Screenprint on Arches cover paper.
Image Size:45 1/4 in x 39 3/4 in (114.9 cm x 101 cm)
Sheet Size:45 1/4 in x 39 3/4 in (114.9 cm x 101 cm)
Framed Size:51 3/16 x 41 ½ in (130 cm x 105.4 cm)
Edition:Numbered from the edition of 100 in pencil in the lower right margin
Signature:This work is hand-signed and dated by Frank Stella (Malden, 1936 - ) in pencil in the lower right margin.
Condition:This work is in excellent condition.
ID #W-7442

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 third of five works from the Shards series, Frank Stella Shards III, 1982 features a darker color palette than the rest of the works in the set of five. A black triangle imbued with blood red and another triangle in various shades of deep burgundy divide the background across the upper left corner to the lower right corner of the composition. Some of the shapes in this image possess the same ease and elegance of cursive script, while others feature the sharp angles of Stella's hard-edge abstraction from his earlier career. The crisscrossing blue and gray 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.  In addition, the layered composition of shapes yields a visual outcome not unlike the trajectory of a car crash, evoking a sense of movement akin to the effect of tailspins and collisions. Frank Stella Shards III, 1982 features a bold image of layered forms and deep colors that attests to the artist’s dynamic compositional arrangements.

Created in 1982, this lithograph and screenprint is hand signed and dated by Frank Stella (Massachusetts, 1936 - ) in pencil in the lower right margin 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 III, 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. 146.
2. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this work.

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