Biografie von Joseph STELLA (1877-1946)

Birth place: Muro Lucano, Italy

Death place: Astoria, NY

Addresses: NYC (1896-on)

Profession: Painter, illustrator

Studied: ASL, 1897; NY Sch. Art; Shinnecock Summer Sch. with Chase, 1898-1900, 1902; Florence, 1909.

Exhibited: CI, 1910 (solo); Armory Show, 1913; S. Indp. A., 1917, 1936, 1941; WMAA, 1922-46, 1994 (retrospective); Salons of Am., 1922-23, 1926-27, 1930; AIC, 1930-31, 1938; Newark Mus., 1939 (solo); PAFA Ann., 1944; Corcoran Gal. biennial, 1945; ACA Gal., NYC, 1940s; MoMA, 1960 (solo); Richard York Gal., NYC (solos: 1988, 1990, 1998)

Member: Am. Soc. PS&G

Work: AIC; BM; WMAA; WMA; MMA; MoMA; Newark Mus. (New York Interpreted" series, 1920-22); Soc. Anonyme coll., Yale Univ. Art Gal. ("Brooklyn Bridge, c. 1919); Iowa State Educ. Assoc., Des Moines"

Comments: Immigrated in 1896 to NYC where he studied medicine and pharmacology. His early illustrations appeared in Century and Everybody"s magazines; and from 1902-08 his series of drawings of Pittsburgh steelworkers appeared in Survey Graphic magazine; however, he soon became best known for his paintings which were influenced by both Futurist and Symbolist movements. It was his dynamic Brooklyn Bridge pictures that helped build his status and he wrote passionately about the bridge as a shrine containing all the efforts of the new civilization of Ameria." Throughout his career he explored themes ranging from the mystical and symbolic to the commonplace, and was also passionate and prolific in capturing blooming plants, leaves, shells, and feathers in silverpoint, colored pencil, watercolor, and oils. Stella was an international figure and in 1931, while in Paris, he became so enraged when he was not invited to exhibit with the 38 "Artistes Americains Moderne de Paris," that he clubbed one of the organizers into unconsciousness with his cane. Author: Stella's typescript, "Discovery of America: Autobiographical Notes," which includes "Brooklyn Bridge, A Page of My Life," is located at the WMAA.

Sources: WW40; exh. cats., Joseph Stella: The Tropics (1988), Joseph Stella: 100 Works on Paper (1990), and Joseph Stella: Passion and Reverence (1998), (all Richard York Gal., NYC); Irma P. Jaffe, "Joseph Stella and Hart Crane: The Brooklyn Bridge," American Art Journal vol.1, no.2 (Fall, 1969): 98-107; Irma P. Jaffe, Joseph Stella (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1970); John I.H. Bauer, Joseph Stella (New York, 1971); Pisano, The Students of William M. Chase, 22; A. Davidson, Early American Modernist Painting, 101-03, 197-98, Diamond, Thirty-Five American Modernists p.40; For Beauty and for Truth, 89 (w/repro.); Baigell, Dictionary; Falk, Exh. Record Series.

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