Had Gadya Again

Just for the pleasure of it I want to make another Stella print/study comparison. The Had Gadya works reward the effort. From the first resolved version of this piece to the final, the scribbly bits are quite changed. The scribbles of yellow over the ochre are different,

Early resolved version

Early resolved version

Frank Stella, Then Came a Fire and Burnt the Stick, #5 from Had Gadya 1982-84

Frank Stella, Then Came a Fire and Burnt the Stick, #5 from Had Gadya 1982-84

 the black scribble on the necktie shape that curves down the front of the upside down cone is different, but most interestingly, the animated shape on its own plane at the left is quite different. The red lines are the same, but the black outline is very different, and in specific conversation with the shape it frames. Is it too hard to see that every bend and break of that black line is deliberate and that the second version is better related to the red lines? As I said before, the “scribbles” are not scribbles. Imagine how they are made. A sheet of mylar is laid over the proof, Stella draws on it and it’s taken away and photographically made into a plate for printing, either a litho plate or a screen. Some of those plates are kept and used at each stage but others are done over again, and we wonder why. The answer is in the method, because each time he draws over an area he becomes more familiar with it and can make the overdrawing fit better.

matpic9Meanwhile, the twisted, floppy figurative doodle is strongly reminiscent of something from Matisse’s Jazz.

This entry was posted in American Modernism, Principles of Abstraction, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *