Sep 21, 2021 - Sale 2579

Sale 2579 - Lot 45

Price Realized: $ 2,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500

JOSEPH STELLA (1877-1946)

Paper collage and oil on board. 293x225 mm; 11 5/8x9 inches. Circa 1920.

Stella completed more than sixty-five collages during his career, using items like dirty paper, cigarette wrappers, theater tickets and leaves, all tremendously avant-garde for their time (see lots 44-49). They highlight each element's tactility in a relatively unaltered state by the artist, allowing their natural decomposition and decay to show. They were not exhibited during Stella's lifetime, and he spoke and wrote very little of them. Not until a selection was first exhibited at the Zabriskie Gallery in 1960-61 were they brought to the attention of the broader artistic community. The following year, Zabriskie Gallery lent two collage works by Stella for "The Art of Assemblage" travelling exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

During his lifetime, Stella was primarily known for his Futurist works as well as his interest in Precisionism in the 1920s and 1930s. He started making these intimate, experimental and personal collages around 1918 and likely continued throughout his career. Joann Moser, in writing about Stella's collages, has noted that they ". . . anticipated some of the more important developments in the medium over the past fifty years and represent some of the more significant and innovative achievements of his entire career ("The Collages of Joseph Stella: ‘Macchie/Macchine Naturali'," American Art, Summer 1992, vol. 6, no. 3).