SAN FRANCISCO, CA, February 13, 2002—The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) announced today that artist Frank Stella has honored longtime SFMOMA supporters Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson by giving the Museum The Duel (Der Zweikampf) F (N#8), 2001, a work that was shown for the first time in New York late last year. Stella offered the work to SFMOMA in response to the Andersons’ recent gifts of seven major Stella works to the Museum.
“Frank Stella could not have chosen a more appropriate way to honor the Andersons,” notes Elaine McKeon, chair of the SFMOMA Board of Trustees. “Thanks to Hunk and Moo, SFMOMA is now a leading repository of this important artist’s work. Frank’s own generosity allows us to tell a complete Stella story, from his debut in 1959 to the very present.”
At 17 by 14 feet, The Duel (Der Zweikampf) F (N#8) is one of seven large paintings based on a collage of the same name; all of the works are part of Stella’s ongoing Kleist series. The work’s surface is flat only in fact—the roiling forms that have been spray-painted, stenciled and computer-projected onto the canvas appear vividly three-dimensional. Taking this trompe-l’oeil exercise one step further, Stella leaves the work’s orientation open for interpretation—The Duel (Der Zweikampf) F (N#8) may be hung either horizontally or vertically. The painting will go on view in the permanent collection galleries at SFMOMA on March 30.
Explaining the impetus for his gift, Frank Stella states, “Hunk and Moo (a.k.a. the Andersons) have been tireless and generous supporters of American painting of our time. I applaud their effort—an obvious and true labor of love. I hope that my gift to SFMOMA in their honor expresses fully my sense of gratitude to them and my deep appreciation for their accomplishments.”
The Duel (Der Zweikampf) F (N#8) joins 17 Stellas in SFMOMA’s permanent collection, including Zambezi, 1959—one of the artist’s Black Paintings and a touchstone of postwar American art—and 16 other paintings, drawings, lithographs and watercolors.