Call Me Stella.

Frank Stella Portrait- Christopher Felver- Photography
Image: Frank Stella by Christopher Felver, silver gelatin print

The first thing you need to know about Frank Stella‘s (b.1936) Waves series is that the vibrant, mixed-media prints are monumental. Each of them measures at least 6 feet high and over 4 feet wide. The American artist employed a trifecta of printmaking techniques to create them: serigraphy, lithography and linocut. The prints are hand-colored and collaged, ensuring that each one is unique.

Stella created these marvels of post-painterly abstraction over a 12-year period, between 1985 and 1997. His epic endeavor seems quite fitting if you consider his source of inspiration. The Waves series is a tribute to Herman Melville’s seminal Great American Novel Moby-Dick. Stella imagines himself as a stowaway on the whaler ship Pequod, joining the narrator Ishmael to chronicle Captain Ahab’s tumultuous quest for revenge against the elusive white whale Moby Dick. Each print is an abstract summary for one of the book’s 135 chapters—an elemental, topsy turvy impression of life at sea. To hear Stella speak about the series, check out this excerpt from Studio 360’s Modern Icons podcast about Moby-Dick.

Stella was also influenced by abstract expressionism for this series. “This is paying my debt, or not so much paying my debt as expressing my admiration for the abstract generation I grew up with and that I admired the most,” he said of Waves.

Works from the Waves series have passed through the Zane Bennett Contemporary collection before, but this release is truly remarkable. We acquired the mint condition prints from a private collection—including several images that we’ve never had before. They all hail from the same pull, and are a low edition number. We’re offering special pricing and right of first refusal to collectors who are interested in purchasing all six as a set, so make sure to contact us quickly if you’d like to own a piece of artistic—and literary—history.

Frank Stella- The Great Heidelburgh Tun- Mixed Media Print- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Frank Stella
The Great Heidelburgh Tun
serigraph, lithograph, linocut, hand coloring, and collage
Year: 1988

Frank Stella- The Pacific- Mixed Media Print- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Frank Stella
The Pacific
serigraph, lithograph, linocut, hand coloring, and collage
Year: 1988

Frank Stella- Squid- Mixed Media Print- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Frank Stella
Squid
serigraph, lithograph, linocut, hand coloring, and collage
Year: 1988

Frank Stella- Ahab- Mixed Media Print- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Frank Stella
Ahab
serigraph, lithograph, linocut, hand coloring, and collage
Year: 1988

Frank Stella- Hark- Mixed Media Print- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Frank Stella
Hark!
serigraph, lithograph, linocut, hand coloring, and collage
Year: 1988

Frank Stella- A Squeeze of the Hand- Mixed Media Print- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Frank Stella
A Squeeze of the Hand
serigraph, lithograph, linocut, hand coloring, and collage
Year: 1988

Click here to browse the complete Zane Bennett Contemporary Art collection.

Sam Francis in Winter.

Sam Francis- Artist Portrait- Photo by Meibao D. Nee.- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art

“Ideas hang around images like shadows,” said Sam Francis (1923-1994). “The space at the center of these paintings is reserved for you.”  The quote seems particularly apt when it comes to the abstract expressionist’s aquatint “The Five Continents in Wintertime.” Francis employs his idiosyncratic drips and splatters, but pulls back his typically vibrant palette to reflect the purple, blue and brown tones of bare branches set against winter skies. Between these cool winter “shadows,” a field of snowy white paper shows through.

Francis was born in San Mateo, California. He was initially influenced by the work of abstract expressionists such as Mark Rothko, Arshile Gorky and Clyfford Still. While living in Paris in the 1950’s, he became associated with Tachisme. Tachisme was a reaction to cubism and is characterized by spontaneous brushwork, drips and blobs of paint straight from the tube, and sometimes scribbling reminiscent of calligraphy. Francis spent his time in Paris executing entirely monochromatic works, but his mature pieces are generally large oil paintings with splashed or splattered areas of bright contrasting color. Areas of white canvas are often left to show through, and in later works, paint is sometimes confined to the edges of the canvas. Scroll down to view “The Five Continents in Wintertime” and other works by Sam Francis.

Image: Meibao D. Nee.

Sam Francis- The Five Continents in Wintertime- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Sam Francis
The Five Continents in Wintertime
aquatint, 23.75in x 48.75in
1984

Sam Francis- Color Lithograph- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Sam Francis
Untitled
color lithograph, 30 x 20 in.
1968

Sam Francis
Untitled #5, from Pasadena Box
lithograph, 11 x 15 in.
1963

Click here to browse the complete Zane Bennett Contemporary collection.