Joseph Stella on View Now
April 11 - 28, 2017
On view now, a group of newly available works by Joseph Stella. Stella was an American modernist of Italian birth who worked in a variety of styles and media. You may know his most famous work– the five-panel Voice of the City Interpreted, including perhaps the most famous rendering of the Brooklyn Bridge (Newark Museum of Art, New Jersey). Orange Bars (left) is a study for one of the panels in that masterpiece, executed in pastel as a dazzling abstract view of Broadway around 1920.
Stella’s work before and after the Brooklyn Bridge is extraordinarily varied and rich, from the “Ashcan” realism he produced in Pennsylvania from 1908-1918, to frenetic lines of Futurist Abstraction c. 1913-1918. His later work was just as rich, embracing a deeply personal symbolic narrative in brightly-colored scenes of figures and animals in glowing landscapes. The swan became a personal emblem, a symbol of the creative powers of the arts. In the pastels of his years in the Bronx, one can read a precursor to Milton Avery’s flat planes of color.