Frank Stella - Frank Stella Prints
American, b.1936
Frank Stella Prints, 1967-1982, 1982
Offset lithograph, 75 x 52 inches
Tyler Graphics Ltd.

Gift of Thomas S. Porter (MBA '67)

Frank Stella was the most prominent artist among a new generation of American abstract painters who emerged during the early 1960s. Developing a new form of geometric abstraction, known as Formalist or Minimalist, Stella also contributed the concept of the “shaped canvas” - a non-rectangular painting on deep stretchers that has an almost architectural presence. This type of abstraction was to be read by the viewer for Formalist meaning - expressiveness deriving from pure color and form.

For his first major retrospective, organized by the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Frank Stella designed an exhibition poster. It incorporated an etching from the Swan Engraving Series that was begun in 1982. Known for his innovative and experimental handling of print media, Stella created the collaged metal plates for this series from etched scraps left over from the manufacture of a recent series of metal-relief paintings. Stella had the plates both inked and wiped for intaglio printing and inked for relief-printing, a highly unusual combination of traditional techniques. The poster, which reproduces Swan Engraving V in its actual dimensions, reflects the monumental scale for which Stella's paintings and more recent prints had become known. After opening in Ann Arbor in the fall of 1982, Stella's print retrospective traveled in an American tour, whose venues included the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.