Shards III

Frank Stella
Shards III
lithograph & screenprint

An original hand-signed Frank Stella lithograph & screenprint.


Offset lithograph and screenprint in colors printed with 39 runs from 31 plates and 2 screens on Arches Cover paper

Hand-signed and dated lower left F. Stella ‘82.

A superb trial proof impression of the definitive state, apart from the numbered edition of 100, one of only ten such proofs, annotated in pencil lower right (there were 25 addition proofs of various types, for an overall edition of 135).  One of nine plates from the series Shards.  Published by Petersburg Press, New York; printed by John Hutcheson, James Welty, Spencer Tomkins and Norman Lassiter.

Catalog: Axsom 146.

45 ¼ x 39 ¾ inches

Shards, comprising five lithographs on screenprinted paper and four variants, is the second series related to the Circuits paintings of 1981.  It was the last project Stella undertook with Pittsburg Press.  The Shards Series of paintings (1982-83) was fashioned, in large part, from leftover elements from the Circuits paintings and prints.  The word “shards” usually associated with fragments of broken earthenware, here suggests Stella’s use of discarded scrap material, a method of working that would become increasingly to define his practice as an artist.

Although the Shards and Circuits prints relate to the same painting series, the effects they achieve could hardly be more different.  In Shards, the staccato rhythms of floating abstract shapes recall Wassily Kandinsky’s and Joan Miró’s biomorphic surrealism of the 1930’s.  With a similar expressiveness, Stella’s series is both jazzy and whimsical.