Frank Stella, one of the most important American artists to have succeeded the Abstract Experssionists, has established himself as the maker of both 'minimalist' and 'maximalist' art. Well known for the geometric patterns in his paintings of the 1960s, Stella expanded and developed his work in the 1970s by producing sensuously coloured, mixed-media reliefs featuring more organic shapes. This break from what was seen as his 'signature style' in his early career was a dramatic event in Stella's development. The present lot, Chodorów V, is important as it marks the cusp between these two different eras in Stella's work. Stella remarked about this period:
"I really did want a change, and wanted to do things that went beyond the methods and system that underlay my paintings until then. I just had to start all over again. That the new work could be contradictory and good is what makes the life of an artist exciting... There's a power in the stripe paintings that the newer ones will never have; on the other hand there is an energy - and a kind of florid excitement - in the newer work that the stripe paintings didn't have. I don't think you can do it all at once. That's why you're lucky to have a lifetime" (Stella, quoted in William Rubin, Frank Stella 1970-1987, New York 1987, p. 14).
Chodorów V, is reminiscent of the power of the strip paintings of the 60s, while having the energy Stella refers to of the later works with their dynamic and overlapping organic shapes.