Honoring the Printmaker

A current exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum pays tribute to master printers. It is their skills, talents and ability to problem solve that help to create fine art prints. It is the artist, not the printmaker, who gets credit for the work, even though many fine art prints are true collaborations and many printmakers are artists themselves.

Iconic printers, like Kenneth Tyler and Ron Adams, revived the art of lithography in America. They taught many artists how to work with a lithography stone and also collaborated on design and composition.

Ron Adams (1934-2020) was a talented artist and printmaker. He attended the Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Manual Arts Adult Night School, Los Angeles City College, Otis College of Art and Design, UCLA, the University of Mexico.

Adams worked at Ken Tyler’s illustrious Gemini G.E.L. printing workshop in Los Angeles and at Editions Press in San Francisco. He left California in 1974 to found Hand Graphics Ltd. in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Ron Adams worked with Jasper Johns,  Ellsworth Kelly and other artists. He was one of the printers who helped Robert Rauschenberg with his Stoned Moon Series. The works were printed at Gemini G.E.L. after Rauschenberg was invited by NASA to witness the first moon landing. Adams sold Hand Graphics, in 1987, to focus on his own artwork.

Bill Lagattuta took over Hand Graphics and worked with Jim Dine and other artists to help them create fine lithographs. Lagattuta and Dine worked together for more than fourteen years.

The Printer’s Proof: Artist and Printer Collaborations focuses on six master printers. Each printer is also a fine artist and empathetic collaborator. A video of their works and perspectives accompanies the exhibit.

Master printers have had a profound effect on the works of many artists. Kenneth Tyler began working with artists in the 1960s. His expertise had a great impact on American artists and the rise of printmaking. He established some of the finest print workshops on both the East and West coasts of the U.S.

His most famous, and longest, collaboration was with Frank Stella. The pair worked together for more than forty years, until Tyler’s retirement in 2000. Tyler also worked with Helen Frankenthaler, Roy Lichtenstein and David Hockney.

The Printer’s Proof: Artist and Printer Collaborations will be on view at the Albuquerque Museum through May 15, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine art prints available at VFA.

The History Makers. Ron Adams Biography. July 13, 2010.
Nancy Zastudil. Shining a Light on the Art of the Printmaker. Hyperallergic. April 4, 2022.
Museum of Texas Tech University. Crisscross: Bill Lagattuta and Collaborative Printmaking (Series 2 of 3). January 2022.
Princeton University Art Museum. Printing without Limits: Frank Stella, Ken Tyler, and the Making of Juam. 2002.
Rashid Johnson, The New Negro Escapist Social and Athletic Club

Draw, Print, Repeat: Double Images and Repeated Patterns

In 1998, a year after Roy Lichtenstein died, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation was established. Headed by Lichtenstein’s widow, Dorothy, the Foundation has given its support to many outreach and research projects.

This year the Foundation donated $50,000 to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC to help fund the research catalogue for the upcoming exhibition: The Double: Identity and Difference in Art Since 1900.

The exhibit examines how and why artists use double forms or motifs in their works. The NGA website says that the exhibit has several themes: “artists in the exhibition explore questions of identity and difference—the difference between the original work and a copy, the identity of the art with the artist, and especially self-identity as defined by our own unconscious, by society, as well as by race, gender, sexuality, and other forms of differentiation.”

Included in the exhibit are works by Andy Warhol, Jasper JohnsRobert Rauschenberg and Frank Stella.

Warhol knew the impact that multiple images have on a viewer. In a work like Portrait of the Artists, the viewer’s eye is forced across the composition to compare each artists’ face with its ten repeated images and with the image of the nine others. His use of the double image is a bit more subtle in Tidal Basin, where he uses a mirror image of the Washington Monument as well as two rectangular backgrounds to draw the eye across the work.

In Frank Stella’s work Black Stack, Stella uses repeated triangles to draw the viewer’s eye down the length on the lithograph, and back up again.

Repeated patterns can be comforting, making order out of chaos. In the 1980s, Donald Sultan created a series of paintings, The Disaster Series, based on newspaper images of the destruction of man-made objects, like train cars and industrial buildings. In 2017 twelve large paintings from the series traveled to major venues around the country, including the Smithsonian.

Sultan’s style went from chaos to order by using linoleum squares, covered with tar, and ordered into series of repeated patterns of dominoes, lantern flowers and poppies. His repeated designs are like comfort food, giving a feeling of serenity, like Big Poppies, Cor-Ten Poppies, even with the use of industrial materials.

One of the modern masters of the repeated image is Julian Opie, whose multiple images move across his work, letting the viewer compare and contrast the individual forms he creates.

The Double: Identity and Difference in Art Since 1900 will be on exhibit at the National Gallery from May 15 to September 5, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine art prints available at VFA.

Frank Stella’s Works in Boston, Tampa and Santiago

Frank Stella Mural at the Boston Seaport

Frank Stella’s Damascus Gate mural was unveiled in the Boston seaport a few months ago.

Stella grew up in Malden, Massachusetts, just north of Boston. He will turn 84 in May. The mural is one of the largest public art installations of his more than 60-year career. The 98-foot-long, 18-foot-tall mural was commissioned by the developers of the revitalized Boston seaport.

The mural is based on Stella’s 1970 Damascus Gate (Stretch Variation I), part of the Protractor Series that he began to work on in the late 1960s. Stella used bright, fluorescent colors, angles and curves for the Protractor Series and named them after ancient sites in Asia Minor, a departure from the stark, black paintings that had earned him early recognition.

Stella continued working with variations of the technique that he began with the Protractor Series, experimenting with colors, shaped canvasses and a variety of materials.

Frank Stella’s Works Coming to Tampa

When Frank Stella traveled to Israel in the 1980s he visited the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, where he saw the works of Russian graphic artist, El Lissitzky. Stella was inspired by the illustrations that Lissitzky did, between 1917 and 1919, for the children’s book Had Gadya. 

Had Gadya, or One Goat is an allegorical song, traditionally sung at the close of the Passover Seder.

Stella created twelve prints, based on the song, in a style very different from Lissitzky’s.

Although Stella was born into family of Italian origin and is not Jewish, he has used Jewish themes in his work, like his Jewish Polish Village Series which depicted destroyed wooden synagogues in Eastern Europe.

Frank Stella: Illustrations After El Lissitzky’s Had Gadya will be on view at the Tampa Museum of Art from April 2 through August 2, 2020 and will be shown concurrently with an exhibit of Stella’s works from the Tampa Museum’s permanent collection and other regional collections.

No More Eating on the Frank Stella Painting

Isfahan lll, one of the largest of his Protractor Series paintings is getting a makeover in Chile.

The painting was donated, by Stella, to the Museum of Solidarity (Museo de la Solidaridad) in 1972, when the museum opened, at a time when Chile was celebrating the regime of Salvador Allende’s new socialist government.

Other artists from around the world donated work, including Pablo Picasso, Robert Motherwell, Sol Lewitt and Joaquin Torres Garcia.

After a military coup in 1973, that brought dictator Augusto Pinochet to power, the museum’s collection was dispersed to different locations.

Stella’s painting, which is more than 10 feet high and 21 feet wide, was rolled up and stored in different locations that belonged to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) in Santiago.

The canvas was so large, that workers, who weren’t familiar with Stella’s work, used it as a table on which they ate their lunch.

In 1991, when democratic rule was restored, the museum reopened as reopened under its current name, the Salvador Allende Solidarity Museum.

After years of being rolled up, and the original stretcher missing, Isfahan lll was badly in need of repair.

Last year, the Getty Foundation, through its Conserving Canvas initiative, funded a project to restore the painting. A new spring-loaded stretcher was built and Stella helped the members of the conservation team restore the texture and color of the work.

Isfahan lll is scheduled to be completed in June.

Katherine McGrath. Frank Stella Reconnects to His Hometown Roots With an Installation at the Boston Seaport. Architectural Digest. January 29, 2020.
artnet Gallery Network. An Iconic Frank Stella Painting Gets a New Lease on Life as a 98-Foot-Long Mural in Boston’s Seaport. artnetnews. November 5, 2019.
Hakim Bishara. The Little-Known Story of a Frank Stella Work Once Mistaken for a Lunch Table. Hyperallergic. February 14, 2020.
Frank Stella Sinjerli-Variation III (Axsom 117), 1977

The Continuing Evolution of Frank Stella’s Prints

Frank Stella changed the art world in so many ways. His Black Painting series launched the minimalism movement in the mid-twentieth century and his collaboration with printmaker Ken Tyler pushed the envelope and changed the way artists create, and the public views, fine art prints.

The Evolution of Frank Stella Prints

Frank Stella began creating prints in earnest at Ken Tyler’s workshop in Los Angeles in 1967. When Tyler opened Tyler Graphics, Limited in New York, the two men began a collaboration that continued until Tyler closed up shop in 2000. Until the 1980s, Stella’s medium of choice was lithography. Tyler and Stella began to incorporate collage, paint, linocut and marbling on handmade paper to create prints that had a quality and texture that had never before been seen in prints.

They continued to push the envelope, doing relief printing with aluminum and magnesium plates for etching and building up the surfaces with plywood block prints. They would often do more than 100 runs of sequences for each print. As their process evolved, so did the images. Stella’s prints are a far cry from his first Black Paintings. His work has evolved from flat black surfaces, to works of great color and texture and expansive sculptures.

An exhibit of some of Frank Stella’s finest print series is currently on display at the Princeton University Art Museum. Frank Stella Unbound, Literature and Printmaking consists of  four sets of huge prints, all done between 1984 and 1999. Each series was inspired by a work of literature, like Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and Italo Calvino’s Folk Tales. The Princeton exhibit is on view through September 23, 2018.

The Death of Frank Stella’s Early Champion

Art dealer Lawrence Rubin died on August 16 at his home in Zurich at age 85. Rubin was born in Brooklyn and raised in the Bronx. He studied art history at Brown University, Columbia and at the Sorbonne in Paris. Rubin opened the Galerie Lawrence in Paris in 1961. He gave Frank Stella his first solo show in Europe and the two became close friends, even owning a country house together at one time.

Rubin exhibited Frank Stella’s Polish Village series in 1971, one of the most memorable exhibits for each of them. It was a success for Rubin and the start of a new chapter in Stella’s career.

The Polish Village series was based on 1979 book called Wooden Synagogues, which was given to Stella by architect Richard Meier. The book contains pictures of geometric wooden buildings that were damaged during the Second World War. The images inspired Stella to create more than 100 works made of paper, felt and canvas.

In a 2016 lecture in Havana, Stella said that there were two things that he found compelling about the Wooden Synagogues: 

One was that there was a kind of geometry in the construction, the wooden construction, which I would call interlocking-ness: interlocking parts that are interesting as a kind of geometry.

The other thing that was compelling was that the trace of the destruction of these synagogues was from Berlin to Warsaw to Moscow. The development of abstraction in the twentieth century traces that same path, from Moscow to Warsaw to Berlin and back.”

Frank Stella Prints at Vertu Fine Art

Please contact us if you would like more information about the Frank Stella fine art prints available at the Vertu Fine Art Gallery.

See More Frank Stella Prints for Sale

Roberta Smith. Lawrence Rubin, Art Dealer and Supporter of Frank Stella, Dies at 85 The New York Times. August 31, 2018.
PHAIDON Understanding Stella: The Polish Village series February 2018.
Thomas Hine Frank Stella prints at Princeton: Dazzling technique in search of a story The Philadelphia Inquirer August 29, 2018.
Frank Stella Prints

Frank Stella: Jasper’s Dilemma and other Stella Works at VFA

After graduating from Princeton in 1958, where he majored in history, Frank Stella moved to New York and became one of America’s most treasured artists.

What you see…

Frank Stella helped to move American art through the tides of abstract expressionism by creating paintings that were not meant to represent pictorial or graphic image.

In a 1964 interview he said, “My painting is based on the fact that only what can be seen there is there. It really is an object. Any painting is an object and anyone who gets involved enough in this finally has to face up to the objectness of whatever it is that he’s doing. He is making a thing … all I want anyone to get out of my paintings, and all I ever get out of them, is the fact that you can see the whole idea without any confusion …What you see is what you see.”

Frank Stella wowed the art world with The Marriage of Reason and Squalor, II, which he painted for MoMA’s Sixteen Americans exhibition  in 1959. Stella created the painting freehand. Using a housepainter’s brush, he applied black enamel paint to the canvas, dividing the surface of the canvas in half and painting stripes of black with a single, unpainted vertical line in the center.

The museum purchased The Marriage of Reason and Squalor, II  during the exhibit, and it remains part of MoMA’s permanent collection.

Frank Stella: Jasper’s Dilemma

Stella said that a painting is, “a flat surface with paint on it – nothing more”. He gravitated to the works of Jasper Johns, who was, in the late 1950s and early ’60s, working with the canvas as a flat surface. As Stella moved from painting with black to painting with color, he focused on something the Johns said. “The more I work with color,” Johns said, “the more I start to see gray.”

This idea so resonated with Stella, that he produced a series of paintings and prints, titled  Jasper’s Dilemma, in which he used bands of color to create tension and illusion, with the bands bouncing off one another. As Stella’s work progressed, his use of color, along with his use of composition, became more sophisticated and elegant. At age 81, Stella is still working in his New York studio, creating paintings, prints and sculptures.

Frank Stella at NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale

Frank Stella: Experiment and Change is still on exhibit at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. The exhibit is part of the museum’s Regeneration Series, which was curated to explore the impact of World War II on artists in America and Europe.

The exhibition includes about 300 works, including paintings, relief sculpture and drawings, which show the progression of Stella’s work from the minimal to the maximal. Frank Stella: Experiment and Change will be on view through July 18, 2018.

See More Frank Stella Screenprints, Lithographs and Etchings for Sale at Vertu Fine Art

Frank Stella in Fort Lauderdale, London and Paris

Frank Stella spends lives and works in New York and, at 81, he and his paintings still do a lot of traveling.

Frank Stella in South Florida

The NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale is celebrating its 60th anniversary with an in-depth exhibit of works done by Frank Stella during his 60-year career.

The exhibit, Frank Stella: Experiment and Change includes paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures that showcase the artist’s evolving use of colors, shapes, shaped canvas, materials and techniques.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Stella said that he was pleased to have his works exhibited in South Florida. “The NSU Museum, for one, is in an interesting modernist building designed by the American architect Edward Larrabee Barnes.” he said. “I had visited the museum before and admired many of the works inside. I had also worked with the exhibit’s curator, Bonnie Clearwater, in the early 2000s on an exhibition of my art at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, and when she approached me about this show, it was a no-brainer for me to say yes because of my relationship with her and my fondness for the museum.”

Frank Stella: Experiment and Change, which showcases about 300 works, is currently on display and will run through July 8, 2018.

Frank Stella in London’s National Gallery

London’s National Gallery has included Frank Stella’s work in its current exhibit, called Monochrome: Painting in Black and White. The show includes monochromatic works by old masters like Giacometti and modern masters like Frank Stella and Josef Albers.

Frank Stella’s early Black Paintings, done in the 1950s, brought him early recognition before he was twenty-five. The Black Paintings were not just a reaction to, but a way to try to understand the structure behind abstract expressionism. “In a way, it was trying to find out what was under the chaos because the chaos of abstract expression is so powerful. I think to a certain extent it’s easy to see that underneath the painting that seemed so wild in America, was the structure of painting in Europe up until the late 30s, which was basically Cubism and Surrealism.”

Monochrome: Painting in Black and White is at the National Gallery in London until February 18, 2018.

Frank Stella in Paris

Being Modern: MoMA in Paris is an exhibition that has been organized by MoMA and the Fondation Louis Vuitton. It features works collected by MoMA from its inception in 1929 to the present day.

Included in the more than 200 pieces on display are works by Frank Stella, Paul Cézanne, Gustav Klimt, Paul Signac, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Giorgio de Chirico, Edward Hopper, Max Beckmann, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder, René Magritte, Walker Evans, Willem de Kooning and Jasper Johns. Many of the works have never been shown in France before, including Andy Warhol’s 1962 Campbell’s Soup Cans.

The Fondation Louis Vuitton was established in 2006 to promote and support contemporary art. It’s housed in a building designed by American architect Frank Gehry.

Being Modern: MoMA in Paris runs through March 5, 2018.

Frank Stella at the VFA Gallery

Please contact us for more information about Black Stack or any of the other works by Frank Stella  and the other fine artists available in our gallery.

See More Frank Stella Artwork for Sale

Irma & New Work

Gratitude After Irma

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, we have been reminded of a valuable lesson at VFA. The lesson is one of gratitude. Although many of us are still without electricity and some conveniences, our families, our homes and the Gallery got through the storm with relatively little damage. We are showing our gratitude by helping the community, in any way we can, return to a sense of normalcy.

Our friends and neighbors have been working together in a spirit of unity. There are many ways to help get our community back together after Hurricane Irma. We urge you to join us in helping, by volunteering if you can, or by donating to clean up efforts. The Red Cross has proven to be a vital part of our area’s recovery.

Vertu Fine Art

Our sincerest thanks goes out to the friends, family and clients who have shown their care and support before, during and after the storm.

New Work at VFA

Vertu is featuring new acquisitions from Tom WesselmannAlex KatzJulian OpieFrank StellaShepard Fairey and Mel Bochner.

Frank Stella Artwork - Gisiang

Frank Stella Artwork

The American artist Frank Stella (born May 12, 1936) was a revolutionary pioneer in the world of modern art. His artwork embodies a unique artistic approach that’s focused on changing the way we perceive art. Throughout his career, Stella has placed much emphasis on exploring different artistic ideas, which has lead his style to change drastically over the span of his life. Surprisingly enough, his bold experimentation and complete shift in focus has been received very positively in the art world, and Stella is considered a thought leader by many.

Stella’s artwork is in a league of its own. Early in his career, Stella started creating black paintings that delved largely into the ideas held by Abstract Expressionism, and the work overlapped Minimalist principles. With their own unique twist on the artist’s view of Abstract Expressionism, these pieces were meant to explore how viewers perceived space when viewing the work. Stella’s use of black paint was meant to make viewers aware of the flatness of his paintings, rather than creating the illusion of a three-dimensional space by implementing techniques that became popular during the Renaissance. It’s interesting to note that these paintings, that contributed largely to Stella becoming famous among art lovers, were created simply using house paint applied smoothly over the canvas.

No art is any good unless you can feel how it’s put together. By and large it’s the eye, the hand and if it’s any good, you feel the body. Most of the best stuff seems to be a complete gesture, the totality of the artist’s body; you can really lean on it.”
—Frank Stella

But Stella wasn’t done experimenting. His art has constantly evolved. While his first paintings were very simple, he later went on to develop surprisingly complex paintings. His worked has been marked by very recognisable periods where he takes to fully exploring an idea.

Stella has worked in various mediums. He’s created various painting, sculptures and murals that can be seen at the Whitney Museum of American art, the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Switzerland, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The artist has also explored widely in printmaking, and has developed many techniques to create interesting prints by experimenting in lithography, screenprinting and etching.

The Meaning of Stella’s Art

Stella’s works aren’t necessarily designed with a specific message, and the artist has been quoted saying “What you see is what you see”, a phrase that’s been rather influential in the way artists perceive Minimalism. Instead of creating art meant to be interpreted with underlying emotional, social or political meaning, Stella creates his works for their own sake.

His aim is to draw viewers in with artwork that explores the relationships between shape, color and the space around the work.

Stella’s Art and Vertu’s Vision

At Vertu, we aim to support and promote modern art. We collect pieces by various artist that worked in styles such as Pop Art, Abstract Expressionism, Surrealism, Minimalism and Color Field. But art is about so much more than creating work that is confined to the ideas held by set movements, and every now and then, artists like Stella prove to be the personification of what it means to create inspiring art that isn’t all about following any rules. These artists are true pioneers who have set out to establish for themselves what they feel art should represent. We are proud to support these ideas and many other by filling our gallery with an eclectic range of works by a wide variety of different artists.

Frank Stella “Das Erdbeben in Chili [N#3]”, (1999)

Frank Stella: Not His First Rodeo

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If you’re lucky enough to be in New York between now and February 7, you’ll be able to see the Frank Stella retrospective at the new Whitney Museum of American Art. If you can’t make it to Manhattan, just keep reading and we’ll tell you how you can see the exhibit without leaving home.

This show is not Stella’s first rodeo. In 1970, at the age of 33, Stella was the youngest artist ever to have a retrospective at MoMA. His second MoMA retrospective was in 1987. Now, at age 79, Stella is the first artist to have a one-person retrospective at the new Whitney.

About sixty pieces of Stella’s work, work that he’s made over a period of nearly sixty years, are on display in the Whitney’s large, fifth floor gallery.

A far cry from his early, reductive, minimal black paintings, that catapulted Stella to fame in the art world, many of the works are wild with color, texture and depth. Some of the pieces are sculptural and architectural. Some look like Stella need only to add an engine and they could take off. Part of the fun for us, at Vertu, is seeing some of the works at the Whitney and similar works that are in our gallery.

When visitors enter the Whitney, they’re presented with the 40 foot long by 12 foot high acrylic on canvas, Das Erdbeben in Chili, done in 1999. (The translation is, The Earthquake in Chili).

Before Das Erdbeben, Stella did a relief etching and aquatint called Egyplosis Relief. Although much smaller in scale, this 1996 work is a glimpse into where the artist was going with the relief work. Best of all, Egyplosis Relief is in our gallery at the present time, and at just 31.5 inches square, you don’t need a 40 foot wall for hanging.

Just to the left of Das Erdbeben in Chili is Pratfall, a ten-foot-square acrylic painting that Stella created in 1974.

Before Pratfall there was Sharpesville. It’s not ten-feet-square, but a 16 X 22 inch offset lithograph, created in 1973, with the same feel as the larger work and is available in our gallery.

Of course, the retrospective includes some of Stella’s black paintings, like, Jill, from 1959.

We’ve got Black Stack in our gallery, a lithograph created in 1970, the year of Stella’s first retrospective at MoMA.

What I see my job as is showing people what the real art world is …”
—James Kalm

To get a tour of the retrospective from the comfort of home, you can follow James Kalm, a Brooklyn artist who takes his video camera to gallery openings around New York, for those of us who can’t make the trip:

The diversity of Stella’s work, over his 57-year-career, is apparent when viewing this retrospective. It also gave us, here at Vertu, an even greater appreciation of the variety of Frank Stella’s work that is in our gallery.

Frank Stella Prints For Sale

Frank Stella: What You See

Frank Stella gave us a new point of view, a new way of looking at a work of art. “What you see is what you see” is the way Stella broke it down.

Stella arrived in New York in 1958, at age 22, after completing a history degree at Princeton. During that period, the art galleries he visited were filled with the paintings of abstract expressionists and pop artists who were exploring new ways of creating, and thinking about, art.

What Frank Stella did, in 1959, was to create a series called Black Paintings, that demonstrated his belief that, “a painting is a flat surface with paint on it.” All the emotion that a viewer brings when looking at a landscape or a still life, the emotions that the artist may have even been trying to evoke, was something that Stella took out of his work.

He created his Black Paintings series, shown at MoMa, an exhibit that jump-started his long career as one of America’s most valued artists. One of the Black Paintings series is painted on a 6 foot by 10 foot canvas. It consists of a pattern of parallel black stripes, painted with black enamel house paint defined by areas of blank canvas. Though the form of the painting has no emotional content, Stella called it, Die Fahne Hoch! (The Raised Banner), which was the first line of the Nazi party’s anthem.

So, though Stella asks the viewer to see the painting as a flat surface with paint on it, he gives it an emotionally charged title…and a lot to think about. Die Fahne Hoch! is part of the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum in New York.

Stella was so loved by critics, that art critic, Barbara Rose, married him in 1961. Stella’s work evolved with the use of color and material. He began to create screenprints, lithographs and etchings in the 1960s and had a print studio installed in his New York house.

We have been fortunate, at Vertu, to have acquired many of Stella’s most interesting fine art prints, like Black Stack, a limited edition lithograph of 56 that he did in 1970. The design of Black Stack is a portent of Stella’s interest in sculpture and architectural design.

Stella’s sculptures and murals have been displayed in public venues around the world. In 1991, he was commissioned to create murals for the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto. HIs three-dimensional murals cover the ceiling dome of the auditorium, the walls of the lobby, the lounges, the boxed seats and the outside back wall of the theater. The theater was slated for demolition in 2012, but public outcry spared the theater from the wrecking ball.

Closer to home, Stella designed an aluminum bandshell for Miami, but cost overruns and disputes with Miami-Dade County turned the project in a new direction. The bandshell now sits outside the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

At 78, Stella is still working in New York and his pieces, which sometimes cost a fortune to build, are sold for millions of dollars. His prints and lithographs, fortunately for us, are more affordable and easier to hang than many of his sculptures, and are available at our Vertu gallery.

Competing Layers: Frank Stella Work Available at VFA

After more than six decades, Contemporary Artist Frank Stella’s works continue to confound and entertain us on a number of levels. Stella has consistently challenged the viewer to determine their own sense of meaning, beyond any intention of the artist – implied, unconsciously contributed or otherwise. Of course the pleasure derived from consuming such works is to decode the subconscious reasoning behind apparently orchestrated alignments of colors, shapes and contrasts that become the art’s subject. Frank Stella remains a favorite of ours at Vertu Fine Art and we’re please to showcase an impressive collection of works currently available for sale, including those explored here.

In the 1980s and 1990s Frank Stella created over 130 works – including various sculptures, installations and lithographs – referencing the storytelling of Herman Melville’s literary masterpiece Moby Dick. Dome, from the Moby Dick Domed Series suggests a stormy collection of layers to be contemplated. Whether viewing this piece from the color-saturated perimeter inward or from the curvaceous central patterns outward, this piece introduces puzzling sets of options that compete for our attention. Certainly this Stella work is indicative of the artist’s movement away from minimalism toward an unbridled modernistic approach to Abstract Expressionism.

Another famous Frank Stella print for sale at VFA is Inaccessible Island Rail, from the artist’s Exotic Bird Series. A splendid example of the artist’s more minimalist works for the 1970s, this print is a highly sought representation of the Stella’s oversized reliefs. This Stella work includes use of the French curve, a tool that became part of the artist’s common language at mid-career.

Another offset lithograph and screenprint from the Exotic Bird Series that’s currently available is Noguchi’s Okinawa Woodpecker. Like all Frank Stella works from this time period, there’s a sincere effort by the artist to distance the material finality of the work from any direct correlation to the implied subject within the title.

Another iconic Stella work for sale at VFA is Sinjerli-Variation III – indicative of another popular tool of precision – the protractor – that maintained a regular presence within the artist’s vocabulary in the 1960s and 1970s particularly. Using this well-known mathematic apparatus, Frank Stella repeatedly explored varieties of intersecting, interlocking and overlapping circular forms. Stella’s vibrant color saturations are pleasing to the eye and draw the viewer into a world in which these forms compete with one another and coexist harmoniously at the same time.

Another Frank Stella masterpiece print on sale at VFA is Egyplosis Relief – a cacophonic mixture of shapes, patterns and colors coming together to form a potent multilayered subject of interest. As if experiencing an artist’s dream rendering, viewers are enlightened with newfound insights and details each time this work is consumed. Completed in 1996, this piece is emblematic of the artist’s mid-career style.

Frank Stella continues to be regarded as one of America’s great living Contemporary Artists. If you’re a collector seeking a particular Frank Stella work, feel free to contact us for assistance or visit our Boca Raton Contemporary Art Gallery.

Art for Sale Alex Katz

Six Newly Acquired Contemporary Works Available At Vertu Fine Art

One of the more gratifying aspects of owning an Art Gallery in Boca Raton, Florida is to see the reaction of our guests as they peruse the space and take in the striking Pop, Optical and Abstract Expressionist works.  At Vertu, there’s fresh energy that comes from each new acquisition from our favorite artists.  Here is a glimpse of six works of art for sale that we’re quite certain you’ll enjoy.

Late Summer Flowers is a beautiful silkscreen from one of the great living American masters of our time, Alex Katz.  Katz, who’s now 86 years old, continues to impress critics and collectors with grand paintings and silkscreen limited edition works created at his New York studio. Late Summer Flowers is an “instant classic” from Katz. It contains many of elements for which the artist is most admired. Like Katz himself, this work emanates a genuine cool confidence.  This piece captures a moment in time through the eyes of an American icon, combining the artist’s unique subtle affect with rich a colorful palette and style that channels the influence of Henri Matisse.

New from British artist Damien Hirst is a striking lenticular print representation of For The Love Of God, a sculpture cast from a human skull, resulting in a platinum likeness covered with 8,601 diamonds of outstanding quality, totaling more than 1,100 carats. To view this work at VFA is to witness this striking piece in all of its three-dimensional glory, bearing incredible likeness to the controversial sculpture itself. Hirst, who is regarded as a founder of the 1990s YBA (Young British Artist) movement, has spent much of his career forcing Contemporary Art lovers to come “face to face” with their own mortality. For Hirst collectors who appreciate the artist’s pushing of boundaries, this is a fantastic addition.

Two stunning new works for sale at VFA’s Boca Raton art gallery are creations of Marc Quinn, another British artist who, like Hirst, rose to fame as a member of the YBA movement in the 1990s. Quinn’s work throughout the years have in many ways paralleled the works of Damien Hirst, in terms of hard-hitting tactics employed to force the viewer to consider the heaviest aspects of the human condition. With Stealth Kate, the latest Marc Quinn print available for sale, the subject, Kate Moss is considerably less heavy.  This sexy piece is a print representation of the artist’s Kate Moss sculpture, silkscreen printed with diamond dust applied, giving the piece an otherworldly aura.  This screenprint is a limited edition of 75 and appears destined to become a longstanding favorite of Quinn collectors.

Another new Marc Quinn work that’s gaining quite a bit of favorable attention at VFA is Blue Planet, an impressive large-scale silkscreen print. Blue Planet is part of a series from Quinn based upon photographs of various human irises, each taken with a powerful lens. This iris print indeed bears resemblance to the planet, dominated by fascinating tones of blue, speckled with yellow, green, orange and red objects that easily resemble land masses.

One of the things we love about Contemporary Art is how quickly we can change gears, moving from Quinn’s realism to an astounding new Pop Art acquisition from one of America’s living Pop Art legends, Claes Oldenburg. The artist, who has received much acclaim over the years for his public installations, many of which feature oversized versions of ordinary objects − made extraordinary by their unanticipated appearance in assorted public spaces. Hard Times Bulb – Night is a unique Oldenburg lithograph that demonstrates the minimalist style of an artist who managed to tap into the American psyche and secure his place in Pop Art history.

Our latest acquisition from Frank Stella, entitled Stubb & Flask Kill A Right Whale-Dome, is an exciting work now available at our VFA Boca Raton gallery. The depth of this piece is sure to pull the viewer in and take the imagination for a joyful ride.  Frank Stella’s layers of geometric patterns within this work are nothing short of mind-boggling.  Movement is this piece begins and stops, and begins again. A strong majestic piece for a Stella collector, and indeed, anyone who appreciates such genius use of light, color and composition.

Helen Frankenthaler, 1956

Artwork For Sale: New Arrivals at Vertu

It’s our pleasure to share the latest works for sale at Vertu Fine Art.  These eight prints already feel like they’ve always been members of our gallery’s family and we enjoy sharing space with these powerful works.

Helen Frankenthaler
All About Blue, 1994

Whenever we have the opportunity to acquire artwork from abstract expressionist Helen Frankenthaler, we move quickly to do so.  “All About Blue” is a strong, moody graphic that conveys rich textures, including those of the surface created from the woodcut.  Helen Frankenthaler is a powerful art figure for collectors who appreciate her role in the context of Abstract Expressionism and Color Field, as a pioneering female artist and great American artist.  Frankenthaler has received enhanced attention following her death in late 2011 and Gagosian Gallery is currently showcasing works from the artist’s estate. This artwork is from a small edition of 38.

Alex Katz
Grey Dress, 1992

“Grey Dress” a signed lithograph measuring 36 x 28 inches, is the newest Vertu artwork for sale from acclaimed artist Alex Katz.  “Grey Dress” is a strong representation of the cool, flat, emotionally detached figurative work for which Katz is renowned.  It’s a pure Pop piece.  Alex Katz is currently 85 years old and considered one of few living artists responsible for ushering in the age of American Pop art. Katz has been an inspirational figure for a number of talented artists, include David Salle and Richard Prince.

Damien Hirst
The Souls on Jacob’s Ladder Take Their Flight (Small Green), 2007

Damien Hirst’s inked photogravure “Souls on Jacobs Ladder Take Their Flight” is the newest artwork for sale from the famous British Contemporary artist.  Hirst is a perfect representation of an artist whose printing technique is every bit as important as his subject.  This magnificent artwork must be seen firsthand to be fully appreciated.  The black suspended green butterfly appears to float in a black space that leaves the paper and approaches the viewer.

Known to many for his controversial installations that have focused on death, dead animals and diamond encrusted skulls, Damien Hirst is highly respected by collectors who value his scientific and imaginative body of work. His role as a key figure within the YBA (Young British Artists), who rose to fame in the 1990’s has solidified his place in history.

Tom Wesselmann
Seascape (Round) from the “Master American Contemporaries” Portfolio, 1993

Of all the new artwork for sale at Vertu, “Seascape – Round” from the Master American Contemporaries Portfolio is the one piece that surprised us.  Though we’ve specialized in and collected Tom Wesselmann for over fifteen years, we were unfamiliar with this work.  In truth, Wesselmann is one of our favorite master printmakers, and this seascape in round composition is a welcomed addition.  From a small edition of 30; collectors will undoubtedly be pleased to see this Wesselmann screenprint available at the gallery.

Tom Wesselmann
Bedroom Blonde Doodle With Photo, 1998

Another newly acquired Tom Wesselmann work for sale is the captivating “Bedroom Blonde Doodle with Photo.”  This graphic is a classic Wesselmann Pop piece that beautifully blends the artist’s influence of Matisse style, sharing commonalities of composition and color.  We think this work is gorgeous; both sexy and emotive.

Roy Lichtenstein
Red Lamp, 1992

Vertu has two new Roy Lichtenstein prints among our inventory of new artwork for sale.  Lichtenstein’s “Red Lamp” is indicative of the old-fashioned comic strip style that brought the artist fame as a leading figure of the American Pop art scene as it captured widespread attention in the 1960’s.

Roy Lichtenstein
Still Life with Red Jar, 1994

Roy Lichtenstein’s “Still Life with Red Jar” is another classic screenprint that is, “undeniably Lichtenstein.”
Reminiscent of the artist’s comic book inspired dots, this signed edition of 250 is a brilliant addition to any collector of Roy Lichtenstein.  Lichtenstein is known to have said that he felt so influenced by Picasso, that he started cartoon paintings as a method to get away from Picasso.  With this knowledge, viewing Still Life with Red Jar, one could argue that Picasso’s influence is quite present.

Frank Stella
Bonne Bay – from the Newfoundland Series (Axsom 55), 1971

This lithograph and screenprint was created shortly after the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented a retrospective of Stella’s work in 1970. Stella worked on it in Los Angeles before he had a print studio installed in his New York home. This print series corresponded to the 1969-1970 painting series of the same name.

If you have questions or would like to see this artwork in person, call or visit us. We pride ourselves on acquiring Pop, Abstract Expressionism and Optical Art from the masters. We often receive gallery visitors who say, “I can’t believe what you’ve got here!”  We are continuously acquiring new artwork and look forward to showing you around our gallery.

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

We believe that the more you know, the more you will appreciate fine art prints.

In our Ebook you’ll learn:

  • A short history of prints from the earliest woodcut to contemporary processes
  • Which artists most influenced the making of fine art prints
  • What questions to ask when buying prints
  • The fundamentals of print identification
  • Terms and techniques for identifying fine art prints
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