Axsom 76a. Number 1 in an edition of 20. From the series Multicolored Squares, State II. Numbered, signed, and dated in pencil lower right: “State II 1/20, F. Stella ‘73”. Printed on T.H. Saunders mould-made paper in 7 runs from 7 plates. Published by Petersburg Press Ltd., London. Printed by Ernie Donagh; Chris Betanbeau, at Cook, Hammond and Kell Lithographers Inc. A fine impression in fine condition.
The Multicolored Squares, State II Series was preceded by Multicolored Squares I in 1972 (Axsom 76-81). Despite the use of the term “second state,” the original plates were not reworked for Multicolored Squares, State II. Differences in the two series exist in the choice of paper and in the type of black selected for Cato Manor and Sharpesville.
The Multicolored Squares prints are based on the Concentric Squares and Mitered Mazes paintings of 1962-63, addressing color systematically, through the progressions of the color wheel and gray scale. Within the series, the titles refer variously to racial disturbances in South Africa (Cato Manor and Sharpesville), disreputable turn of the century lotteries (Honduras Lottery Co. and Louisiana Lottery Co.), and the Spanish conquest of the Yucatan in the sixteenth century (Gran Cairo and Cipango).