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Fine & Decorative Art

Frank Stella

Frank Stella
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Frank Stella

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Lithograph and mixed media, on paper by Frank Stella (b. 1936). Shard I. APX (artist proof number ten). Signed and numbered in pencil by the artist. Of excellent image quality and color, and including authentication and original receipt from Petersburg Press, Inc. Frank Stella, 1982.

Stella gained early recognition in the late 1950’s with his departure from the emotional and expressive brushwork of abstract impressionism. Stella went on to a career of relentless experimentation, developing new ideas such as applying three dimensional objects to his paintings.

Stella is often associated with color field painting, minimalism, and pop art. Stella’s intention was to eliminate any illusionism that visible brushstrokes might create. Stella often created series of paintings such as the Benjamin Moore Series, and the Irregular Polygons Series among others. In the mid 1960s Stella created his first prints, with Kenneth Tyler at Gemini G.E.L. print publishers.

Stella famously quipped, “What you see is what you see.” His art is meant to exist in its material dimension, without reference to any symbolic or historical meaning. This approach was evident from his first exhibition in 1959, when his cooly impersonal paintings of black stripes, stood in stark contrast to the emotionally charged abstract expressionism of the time. Frank Stella has continually experimented in expanding the boundaries of painting. By treating the canvas as a plane, rather than an illusionistic window, he opened new possibilities. He created art that bridged both painting and sculpture, irregular geometrically shaped canvases, and paintings that extended into three dimensions. His work proceeds on the principle of “line, plane, volume, and point, within space” focusing on the most basic elements of art: color, shape, and composition.

One of America’s most innovative and honored artists, he was given his first retrospective at MoMA in 1970, at the age of 33. In 2007 The Metropolitan Museum of Art honored him with an exhibition.