Frank Stella: Illustrations After El Lissitsky’s Had Gadya Series

Thursday, Jun 15, 2023 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Cincinnati Skirball Museum
3101 Clifton Ave

One might not immediately associate Frank Stella (b. 1936), the American painter, sculptor and printmaker noted for his work in the areas of minimalism and post-painterly abstraction with a cumulative, lyrical poem that concludes the traditional Seder, or festive meal, on the Jewish holiday of Passover.

Had Gadya (One Little Goat) is one of the earliest recorded songs for children. Just as each verse of the song builds on one before it, Stella builds on the original 1919 series of prints by Russian-Jewish avante-garde artist El Lissitzky. Lissitzky, who began his career illustrating Yiddish children’s books, created a print for each stanza of the famous song. Stella first encountered these works in the Tel Aviv Art Museum in 1981 and was profoundly inspired by their movement and the vibrancy of the simplified, graphic forms.

Based on these artworks, the Frank Stella Had Gadya print series was created and took two years to complete. The prints were created using a combination of various printmaking techniques – lithography, linoleum block, silkscreen, and rubber relief with collage elements and hand-coloring. The prints were finally published by Waddington Graphics, London, in 1984. After completing the edition, Stella created between two and nine variants of each of the twelve Had Gadya illustrations.

Time: 11:00am - 3:00pm

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