The Monumental Revolution of Frank Stella's Golden Masterpiece Ifafa I

NEW YORK | 13 MAY 2024

The Monumental Revolution of Frank Stella's Golden Masterpiece Ifafa I

Resplendent in its striking angularity, operatic scale, and incandescent gold palette, Ifafa I announces the apex of Frank Stella's radical interrogations of artwork and objecthood. Spanning over eleven feet in length, Ifafa I from 1964 is one from a limited suite of nine monumental Notched V masterworks that the artist painted from 1964-65, a revolutionary body of paintings in which the artist introduced his first V-shaped canvases.

Testifying to the significance of Ifafa I, its sister painting Ifafa II is held by the Kunstmuseum Basel, with another example from this series, Empress of India, belonging to the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Ifafa I sees Stella challenge the physical limitations and theoretical confines of painting as he destabilizes the supremacy of the rectilinear canvas and introduces an unprecedented dynamism to the refined austerity of his earlier work. Making its first public appearance in over half a century, the present work, veiled in a glowing, golden luster, stands as a pillar of the most generative decade of Stella’s lauded career. Disrupting notions of flatness and form, painting and sculpture, Ifafa I not only captures Stella at his most inventive but also the seismic shifts in art history that took place in the middle of the last century.

Ifafa I will be part of Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Auction, presented in partnership with Celine, that will take place on 13 May 2024.

View 1 of Lot 113: Ifafa I
Frank Stella
Ifafa I
Estimate: 14,000,000 – 18,000,000 USD

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