The Epic Endeavor: Frank Stella’s Waves Series

Frank Stella- Waves Series- Moby-Dick- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico
Frank Stella by Christopher Felver, silver gelatin print

In 1986, Frank Stella embarked on an epic endeavor: adapting Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby-Dick into a body of work. He spent twelve years capturing the essence of the novel, resulting in four series with over 200 artworks that correspond with every twist and turn of the plot. The first series, The Waves, comprises thirteen vibrant, mixed-media prints that detail Captain Ahab’s obsessive quest. Behold four vibrant prints from the series, available individually or as a set. Each print is named for a chapter from the book, so we’ve provided chapter synopses below.

Frank Stella - The Waves Series - Ahab - Moby Dick - The Whale - Zane Bennett Gallery - Santa Fe

In Ahab, abstracted whale tails and a blood-red background
mark Ishmael’s first sighting of the doomed captain. 

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

Frank Stella - Hark! - The Waves Series - Moby Dick - Zane Bennett Gallery - Santa Fe

Hark! captures the quiet reverence the seamen have for
their captain—and the sounds of a calm ocean. 

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

Frank Stella - The Wave Series - A Squeeze of the Hand - Moby Dick - The Whale - Zane Bennett - Santa FeA Squeeze of the Hand offers a tour through the Pequod’s
“blubber-room,” hence the exuberant mish-mash of colors and forms.

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

Frank Stella - The Pacific - The Wave Series - Moby Dick - Zane Bennett Gallery - Santa FeThe Pacific, with its fragmented vision of the titular whale
tinged in red, charts the Pequod’s passage into tumultuous waters.

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

Wangechi Mutu’s New Pantheon.

Wangechi Mutu- Editioned Mixed-Media Collage- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

“Art is my way of speaking about things that are unspeakable, it is my truest voice and my strongest form of resistance,” Wangechi Mutu told Artnet. The Nairobi and New York-based artist explores questions of female representation, black identity, environmental catastrophe, and cultural trauma in her semi-figurative artworks. Her densely layered, oddly gnarled compositions show hybridized female figures who are simultaneously exquisite and grotesque, fantastical and forlorn.

Mutu’s collagraph, Second Born, is new to the Zane Bennett Contemporary collection. Mutu created it with Pace Editions in 2013, the same year as her first solo exhibition in the United States, Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey at the Nasher Museum of Art. The mixed-media piece is a powerful example of Mutu’s contemporary myth-making. By interweaving fact with fiction, she opens up possibilities for a pantheon of symbolic female characterizations, markedly different from those that appear in either classical history or popular culture.

Above: Wangechi Mutu, Kenyan Vibe.

Wangechi Mutu, Second Born,
24 kt gold, collagraph, relief, digital printing, collage and hand-coloring
36 x 43 in.

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

Arturo Herrera In Motion.

Arturo Herrera- Art21- Play Documentary- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

“Being Latin American, you are made up of so many fragments from different cultures,” Arturo Herrera (b. 1959) told Art21 in a documentary called Play. The sequence shows the Venezuela-born, New York and Berlin-based artist sifting through an enormous pile of clippings from paintings, drawings, and printed materials. These are the puzzle pieces for his abstract collages, which incorporate undulating forms and dazzling colors into compositions that almost seem to emit an exuberant hum.

Herrera’s editioned, mixed-media collage Johannes is one such visual chorus. Created over two years in collaboration with the printers at Pace Editions, Johannes is a tour de force of printmaking experimentation. This mixed-media collage is composed of more than 100 separately printed elements in various printmaking techniques, including etching, aquatint, linocut, letterpress, collagraph, silkscreen and digital pigment print. Watch this video from Pace that details the fascinating process, and learn more about the print below.

Arturo Herrera- Johannes- Mixed-Media Collage- Pace Editions- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

 Arturo Herrera, Johannes,
 mixed-media collage with various printmaking techniques and felt,
62.5 x 39.5 in., 2012

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

Christo wraps Rome.

Christo- Fine Art Print- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico
Christo, Ponte Sant’Angelo, Wrapped, Project for Rome, mixed-media print, 25 x 23.87 in., 2011

“We are probably the only artists in the world who have a 2,000-page book on a work of art that doesn’t exist,” said Christo (b. 1935) of collaborating with his late partner Jeanne-Claude. A remarkable thing about the world-famous duo is that many of their fantastical ideas have become realities. Their monumental projects, such as The Gates in Central Park and Wrapped Reichstag, forever changed the world’s view of iconic locales. This success can be attributed, in large part, to that laborious documentation. “These projects reveal their identity through this whole process,” Christo said. “When I’m starting, I only have the slightest idea of how the work of art will exist.” Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s early-career proposal to wrap Rome’s oldest bridge, Ponte Sant’Angelo, is captured in this exquisite mixed-media print. It’s a screenprint with fabric, twine, felt pen and graphite. See more works by Christo from the Zane Bennett Contemporary collection below.

Books by Christo.

Christo- The Floating Piers- Taschen Books- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Floating Piersbook, 10.6 x 11.4 in.

Christo- The Gates- Central Park- Taschen Books- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gatesbook, 10.6 x 11.4 in.

Artwork by Christo.

Christo- Wrapped Telephone- Fine Art Print- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Christo, Wrapped Telephone, Project for L.M. Ericsson Model,
color lithograph with collage of fabric, twine, and photograph, 28 x 22 in., 1985

Christo- Wrapped Automobiles- Fine Art Prints- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Christo, Wrapped Automobile (Project for 1950 Studebaker
Champion, Series 9G Coupe)
, lithograph, collage, 17 x 21 in., 2015

Christo- Wrapped Statues- Fine Art Prints- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Wrapped Statues, The Glyptothek, Munich,
serigraph and photo collage, 35 x 27 in., 1988

Click here to browse the complete Zane Bennett Contemporary collection.

Olafur Eliasson’s Berlin.

Olafur Eliasson- Your Reversed Berlin Sphere- GIF- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (b. 1967) turns a city skyline on its head in his mercurial artwork Your reversed Berlin sphereThe larger image shows Berlin from the window of Eliasson’s studio, with a smaller, inverted version of the same view embedded in its center. The artist uses color-effect filter glass to imbue the underlying C-Print with chameleonic properties: as the light shifts, the central disc reflects a vivid rainbow of yellows, oranges, pinks, purples and blues. It’s as though this iconic metropolis has cast its reflection in a glacial lake at sunset. The glass also acts as a mirror, allowing the viewer to glimpse their reflection hanging above the scene.

Eliasson’s art is driven by his interests in perception, movement, embodied experience, and feelings of self. He is perhaps best known for his gargantuan artwork The Weather Project in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, London. The 2003 installation turned the 35,520-square-foot exhibition space into a cradle for a sculptural depiction of the glowing sun. “Eliasson views the weather – wind, rain, sun – as one of the few fundamental encounters with nature that can still be experienced in the city,” writes Tate Modern. “Eliasson has sought to bring a part of London into the building, and through the experience and memory of the work, a part of it is taken back out into the city by the viewer.” Your reversed Berlin sphere evokes an elemental experience of another iconic European city. It’s an ever-shifting window into Berlin, with infinite visual appeal.

Olafur Eliasson- Your Reversed Berlin Sphere- Mixed-Media Artwork- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Olafur Eliasson
Your reversed Berlin sphere
Color-print on Fuji crystal archive II paper (matte)
mounted on dibond, color-effect filter glass, glass, wood frame
35.5 x 35.5 in
2016

Olafur Eliasson- Your Reversed Berlin Sphere- Color Gradient- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Click here to browse the complete Zane Bennett Contemporary collection.

Robert Rauschenberg, Rule Breaker.

Robert Rauschenberg- Cock Sure Print- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico
Robert Rauschenberg, Cock Sure, silkscreen, hot wax, silver pigment dust and acrylic on cardboard and glass, 60 x 40 in, 1993.

Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) is having a moment—though you could argue that the postmodern provocateur has been en mode since the midcentury. In any case, the Museum of Modern Art’s blockbuster survey show Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends recently closed in New York, and SFMOMA’s manifestation of the exhibition opens in late November. The new show is titled Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules, a reference to the artist’s legendary erasure of a Willem De Kooning drawing in the name of art. It was a seminal moment in his early career, but hardly characteristic of the work he would produce in the following decades.

Rauschenberg was a master of addition rather than subtraction, fearlessly layering a vast arsenal of bizarre materials to create sculptural paintings, painted sculptures and three-dimensional drawings that he referred to as “Combines.” Cock Sure, a mixed-media print that he produced with Pace in the 1990’s, represents a late chapter of his persistent experimentation. “Cock Sure is an extension of his curiosity, applying paint directly onto the glass surface, increasing the depth of the work so that it became three-dimensional,” wrote Art Daily. “The work is characteristically by Rauschenberg as seen through the inclusion of everyday images: an open sign, chickens, a windmill, and a dog resting by a brick wall.” Scroll down to view more works by Rauschenberg in the Zane Bennett Contemporary collection.

Robert Rauschenberg- Arcanum VIII Lithograph- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Robert Rauschenberg
Arcanum VIII
lithograph
22.5 x 15.5 in
1981

Robert Rauschenberg- Arcanum V Lithograph- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Robert Rauschenberg
Arcanum V
color silkscreen with hand-coloring and collage on paper
22.5 x 15.5 in
1981

Robert Rauschenberg- Soviet/American Array II Intaglio- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Robert Rauschenberg
Soviet / American Array II
intaglio in 14 colors
87.5 x 52.25 in
1990

Click here to view all of our artwork by Robert Rauschenberg.