Jun 30, 2022 - Sale 2611

Sale 2611 - Lot 152

Price Realized: $ 5,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,500 - $ 3,500
Lotus Flowers.

Silverpoint, crayon and color pencils on prepared paper, circa 1920. 326x245 mm; 12 7/8x9 3/4 inches.

Provenance: Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, New York, circa 1987; private collection, New York.

Silverpoint, linked Stella (1877-1946) to the Old Masters and allowed him to attain thin, light capturing lines. The medium was rarely used, as it requires precise handling (it cannot be erased) and an abrasive ground. Stella used zinc white gouache to prepare his paper which also gave the illusion that his subjects floated in space. Stella's botanical drawings, in which he gives life to, or anthropomorphizes, inanimate objects, are linked to his 1919 oil on canvas Tree of My Life (now in the collection of Art Bridges, Texas), though he continued to create these drawings throughout his career. In 1946, he remembered fondly, "From 1921 on I was swinging as a pendulum from one subject to the opposite one. With sheer delight I was roaming through different fields, spurred by the inciting expectation of finding thrilling surprises, especially going through the luxuriant garden of the Bronx, I was seized with a sensual thrill in cutting with the sharpness of my silverpoint the terse purity of the lotus leaves or the matchless stem of a strange tropical plant. Innumerable visions of pictures were storming around me like chimeric butterflies."