Stella’s Town-Ho’s Story is made of cast and poured aluminum, steel, and some ready-made bits and pieces. It’s not all scrap, in fact mostly fabricated. However, the colour of the piece leans heavily on the untreated color of the different kinds of metal. There is some spray paint here and there, on the mesh or lattice pieces, but the only applied colour, meaning brushed on like most of the Moby Dick series, is tucked away inside folded or bent pieces. It’s as if it’s been deliberately hidden. You have to look for it, and so it’s like the piece as a whole—unity and conscious arrangement are certainly there, but it’s up to you to see them. That’s how abstraction in our time has to work.
Just to add another layer of appreciation, Stella’s sculpture owes a lot to John Chamberlain’s painterly efforts, including this very treatment of colour.