08.09.2021 - 20.11.2021

Opening Hours:


Riva collection is proud to present STELLA / SPERLING, a new exhibition featuring historical works from Frank Stella’s “Polish village“ series along with new works from American artist, Josh Sperling. The exhibition, curated by Matt Black, creates a vivid and compelling dialogue between two unique body of works. It is an exploration into the idea of painting & sculpture, adding a new chapter in the fascinating history of shaped canvas.

Why make every color, shape, emotion fit into a rectangle? As Donald Judd wrote “A rectangle is a shape itself: it is obviously the whole shape; it determines and limits the arrangement of whatever is on or in it”. With a clear desire for the idea of departure, shaped canvases have always been evolving and questioning the idea of painting itself. From Raphael’s Tondo to the work of Peter Laszlo Peri or Jasper Johns. The participation of Frank Stella in this linage is absolutely fundamental. Following Stella’s retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (1970), he received Maria and Kasimierz Pietchotka’s book Wooden Synagogues (1959), as a gift from his friend, the architect Richard Meier in 1970. The inspiration created a transition in his practice from flat to built objects and layered surfaces. Half a century later, Josh Sperling continues this exploration and with his practice challenges the notion of form, surface and space, tackling once again the very idea of what it means to make a painting.

As a curator, my interests have always laid in creating a thread between artists across generations. Josh is a very distinct voice, his sense of composition and color are completely innovative and personal. He plays with themes and techniques in art history and uniquely interprets it into his work. The STELLA/SPERLING exhibition makes for a natural and inspiring dialogue, both playful and seductive, yet absolutely timeless.

Text by Matt Black