Joseph Stella: Unsealed from Paradise

Schoelkopf Gallery is pleased to present Joseph Stella: Unsealed from Paradise, on view from October 13 to December 1, 2023. Describing Barbados following a 1937–38 trip, Joseph Stella wrote: "...gorgeous rainbows unfold all the glory of celestial hues, unsealed from Paradise, to clasp in divine unity the terse blue and the vivid emerald resplendent from sky and sea" (Joseph Stella, "Barbados" privately printed with "The Birth of Venus," 1941, Stella Papers, AAA, reprinted in Haskell, Joseph Stella, 210). This exuberant reflection reveals Stella's deeply personal connection with nature as a wellspring of artistic inspiration. While Stella has long been celebrated for his depictions of urban subjects such as the Brooklyn Bridge, his decadent visions of a marvelous natural world begun following World War I deserve further study and have been the focus of renewed scholarly interest beginning with the 2022–23 major traveling exhibition Joseph Stella: Visionary Nature, organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, in collaboration with the Brandywine River Museum of Art, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Uniting works exhibited in the retrospective alongside examples from distinguished North American private collections, Schoelkopf Gallery’s Joseph Stella: Unsealed from Paradise presents 19 paintings and works on paper from 1914 to 1944 that testify to Stella's relentless curiosity about singular materials and methods such as silverpoint and glass, to his creative relationships with other artists such as Dada leader Marcel Duchamp, but most importantly, to his profound fascination with the organic universe as he strove to unseal from paradise, through his unique visual language, the abundance of nature. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated checklist and scholarly essay by Stephanie Mayer Heydt, the outgoing Margaret and Terry Stent Curator of American Art at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and lead curator of Joseph Stella: Visionary Nature.