Frank Stella: Illustrations afterEl Lissitzky’s Had Gadyafrom the Collection of BNY Mellon - Tampa Museum of Art

On view through September 27, 2020

Frank Stella (American, b. 1936) created the series Illustrations after El Lissitzky’s Had Gadya (1984) after seeing artist El Lissitzky’s artwork at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Between 1917 and 1919, Lissitzky (Russian, 1890-1941) completed imagery for a children’s book of “Had Gadya”, an allegorical song sung at the close of the Passover Seder. Lissitzky’s modernist interpretation of the traditional song highlighted the influence of the Russian avant-garde in his work, as he depicted characters and scenes in "Had Gadya" with abstract forms and interlocking geometric shapes. Inspired by Lissitzky’s "Had Gadya", Stella produced a suite of prints corresponding to the artist’s imagery. Rather than re-interpret the song, Stella responded to Lissitzky’s abstractions with his own signature vibrant palette and curvilinear gestures. The exhibition features Stella’s complete portfolio of twelve prints, each unique in technique and color.

 

 

 

 

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Had Gadya: The Butcher Came and Slew the Ox, 1982-84

Frank Stella (American, b. 1936), Mixed-media relief hand-painted in color. 56 7/8 x 55 3/8 inches. Collection of BNY Mellon. © 2020 Frank Stella / Artists rights Society (ARS), New York.

One Small Goat Papa Bought for Two Zuzim, 1984

Frank Stella (American, b. 1936). Hand-coloring and hand-cut collage with lithograph, linocut, and screenprint. 52 3/8 x 51 1/4 inches. Publisher: Waddington Graphics, London. Collection of BNY Mellon. © 2020 Frank Stella / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Had Gadya: Front Cover, 1984

Frank Stella (American, b. 1936). Hand-coloring and hand-cut collage with lithograph, linocut, and screenprint. 42 1/2 x 34 inches. Publisher: Waddington Graphics, London. Collection of BNY Mellon. © 2020 Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.