154
154

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF ULRICH OTTO SAUER

Frank Stella
'OH!' CRIED TONI [Q#3]
JUMP TO LOT
154

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF ULRICH OTTO SAUER

Frank Stella
'OH!' CRIED TONI [Q#3]
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

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London

Frank Stella
B. 1936
'OH!' CRIED TONI [Q#3]
mixed media on cast aluminium
203.2 by 142.2 by 71.1 cm. 80 by 56 by 28 in.
Executed in 1998.
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Provenance

Galerie Hans Mayer, Dusseldorf
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2006

Exhibited

Jena, Galerie der Jenoptik; Hildesheim, Roemer und Pelizaeus Museum; Stuttgart, Wurttermbergischer Kunstverein; Berlin, Galerie Akira Ikeda; and Singapore, Singapore Tyler Print Institute Limited, Heinrich von Kleist by Frank Stella, March 2001 - July 2002, p. 96, illustrated in colour

Catalogue Note

“If there is anything that characterizes Frank Stella’s protean career as a painter, it is a desire to break out of the canvas, to go beyond the limits imposed by a conventional two-dimensional rectangle within a frame,” stated critic Paul Goldberger (Paul Goldberger, ‘Frank Stella Architecture’, in: Exh. Cat., New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Frank Stella: Painting into Architecture, 2007, p. 11). Composed of colourful metal forms assembled on cast aluminium, ‘Oh!’ cried Toni [Q#3] blurs the boundaries between two- and three-dimensional planes. This cacophonous composition breaks from the palette of primary colours which characterised Frank Stella's earlier works, instead opting for more subdued, earthy hues. Though seemingly chaotic, ‘Oh!’ cried Toni [Q#3] possesses an ethereal harmony and follows in line with Stella’s aim to make works which elicit a pleasurable sensation in the viewer and by extent give them something worth looking at.

Hidden within this web of shapes and patterns lurks a narrative illustrating Heinrich von Kleist’s The Betrothal of Santo Domingo (1810). ‘Oh!’ cried Toni [Q#3] is one of fourteen works which Stella named for characters, places or dialogue in the German poet's Romantic novella which narrates the tragic story of Toni, a mixed-race girl enslaved on the island of Santo Domingo and her betrayal by a French/Swiss soldier attempting to repress the revolution of slaves fighting for freedom. It is common practice for Stella to work in series, particularly those with literary referents. In fact, upon beginning his Von Kleist series, Stella had just completed a series concerning Herman Melville’s Moby Dick which he executed between 1985-1987. Over the end of his life, Stella created several more series inspired by Von Kleist’s writing, producing works in a variety of media from metal reliefs and prints to sculptures and murals. Stella utilises the Von Kleist novellas “as screens on which to project his delight in the straightforward manner the romantics sought to incarnate their feelings in their works” (Robert Hobbs, ‘Frank Stella, Then and Now’, in: Exh. Cat., Singapore, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Frank Stella: Recent Work, 2002, p. 24).

Heralded as a pioneer of post-painterly abstraction and later named as the father of minimalist art, Stella’s artistic output has continued to produce increasingly complicated and dynamic work. ‘Oh!’ cried Toni [Q#3] provides a dynamic and compelling example of Stella’s mature artistic output which continues to effuse the authentic originality which pervades the artists’ oeuvre.

Contemporary Art Day Auction

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London