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Joseph Stella Biography

Joseph Stella (Italian-American) painted in varied styles throughout his life but is perhaps best known for his expressive and emotional paintings of the Brooklyn Bridge. Stella’s works are mostly abstract, combining thick sweeping gestures with dramatic perspectival recession. He is hailed as America’s first Futurist artist, and also incorporated Cubist techniques and elements of an emerging symbolist movement in his work. Ever interested in emerging urban themes, Stella returned repeatedly to the subject of the Brooklyn Bridge, his frenetic images reflecting the personal experience living in lower Manhattan as an immigrant and dueling feelings of raw urban frustration mixed with profound awe for the industrial icon. For Stella, the Brooklyn Bridge became a symbol of modern life, full of excitement and motion, while also representing stability and solidarity.

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