Frank Stella

Frank Stella. Photo: Sally Fraser

 

Frank Stella (*1936) is a crucial figure in the trajectory of modern and contemporary art. From his revolutionary Black Paintings of the late 1950s and the shaped canvases of the 1960s to his recent sculptural work incorporating complex 3D-rendered forms, Stella has remained remarkably true to his artistic vision and extraordinarily innovative—both in his compositions and his materials—even past his ninth decade. At its core, Stella’s project constitutes a search for ever-new ways to conceive of and represent space, moving seamlessly between hard geometries and organic manifestations.

 

Studio Visit: Frank Stella
Christie’s studio visit, Hudson Valley, New York, 2019

Works
Frank Stella
Frank Stella
Perfect Day for Banana Fish, 1958

Frank Stella
Perfect Day for Banana Fish, 1958
Oil on canvas
193.7 × 261 cm
76 1/4 × 102 3/4 inches

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Frank Stella
Frank Stella
Delta, 1958

Frank Stella
Delta, 1958
Enamel on canvas
216.9 × 246.4 cm × 7.6 cm
85 3/8 × 97 × 3 inches

Frank Stella
Frank Stella
Damascus Gate (Stretch Variation I), 1970

Frank Stella
Damascus Gate (Stretch Variation I), 1970
Acrylic on canvas on shaped stretcher
304.8 × 1524 cm
120 × 600 inches

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Frank Stella
Frank Stella
Lanckorona I, 1971

Frank Stella
Lanckorona I, 1971 (detail)

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Frank Stella
Frank Stella
Scramble: Ascending Spectrum/Ascending Yellow Values, 1978

Frank Stella
Scramble: Ascending Spectrum/Ascending Yellow Values, 1978
Acrylic on canvas
175.3 × 175.3 cm
69 × 69 inches

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Frank Stella
Frank Stella
Sunapee IV, 1966

Frank Stella
Sunapee IV, 1966
Alkyd and epoxy paints on shaped canvas
323.9 × 304.8 × 10.16 cm
127 1/2 × 120 × 4 inches

Frank Stella
Frank Stella
Study for Princess of Wales Theater, Toronto, III, 1992

Frank Stella
Study for Princess of Wales Theater, Toronto, III, 1992
Mixed medium on canvas
152.4 × 348 × 6.4 cm
60 × 137 × 2 1/2 inches

Frank Stella
Frank Stella
Saint-Pierremont, 1992

Frank Stella
Saint-Pierremont, 1992
Steel and rebar
94 × 109.2 × 34.3 cm
37 × 43 × 13 1/2 inches

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Frank Stella
Frank Stella
The Sperm Whale's Head, 1989

Frank Stella
The Sperm Whale's Head, 1989
Mixed media on fabricated aluminium and magnesium
179.1 × 160 × 120.7 cm
70 1/2 × 63 × 47 1/2 inches

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Frank Stella
Frank Stella
Shards IV (4.75X), 1983

Frank Stella
Shards IV (4.75X), 1983
Mixed media on aluminium and fibreglass
457.2 × 515.6 × 101.6 cm
180 × 203 × 40 inches

Frank Stella
Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015
Flexible RPT
203.2 × 243.8 × 243.8 cm
80 × 96 × 96 inches

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Frank Stella
Frank Stella
Blue Hat 1, 2018

Frank Stella
Blue Hat 1, 2018
Acrylic on canvas
114.6 × 120 cm
45 1/8 × 47 1/4 inches

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Details
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Perfect Day for Banana Fish, 1958
Oil on canvas
193.7 × 261 cm
76 1/4 × 102 3/4 inches

Frank Stella
Perfect Day for Banana Fish, 1958
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Perfect Day for Banana Fish, 1958 (detail)

Frank Stella
Perfect Day for Banana Fish, 1958
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Perfect Day for Banana Fish, 1958 (detail)

Frank Stella
Perfect Day for Banana Fish, 1958
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Delta, 1958
Enamel on canvas
216.9 × 246.4 cm × 7.6 cm
85 3/8 × 97 × 3 inches

Frank Stella
Delta, 1958
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Damascus Gate (Stretch Variation I), 1970
Acrylic on canvas on shaped stretcher
304.8 × 1524 cm
120 × 600 inches

Frank Stella
Damascus Gate (Stretch Variation I), 1970
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Damascus Gate (Stretch Variation I), 1970 (detail)

Frank Stella
Damascus Gate (Stretch Variation I), 1970
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Damascus Gate (Stretch Variation I), 1970 (detail)

Frank Stella
Damascus Gate (Stretch Variation I), 1970
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Lanckorona I, 1971 (detail)

Frank Stella
Lanckorona I, 1971
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Lanckorona I, 1971 (detail)

Frank Stella
Lanckorona I, 1971
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Lanckorona I, 1971 (detail)

Frank Stella
Lanckorona I, 1971
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Scramble: Ascending Spectrum/Ascending Yellow Values, 1978
Acrylic on canvas
175.3 × 175.3 cm
69 × 69 inches

Frank Stella
Scramble: Ascending Spectrum/Ascending Yellow Values, 1978
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Scramble: Ascending Spectrum/Ascending Yellow Values, 1978 (detail)

Frank Stella
Scramble: Ascending Spectrum/Ascending Yellow Values, 1978
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Sunapee IV, 1966
Alkyd and epoxy paints on shaped canvas
323.9 × 304.8 × 10.16 cm
127 1/2 × 120 × 4 inches

Frank Stella
Sunapee IV, 1966
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Study for Princess of Wales Theater, Toronto, III, 1992
Mixed medium on canvas
152.4 × 348 × 6.4 cm
60 × 137 × 2 1/2 inches

Frank Stella
Study for Princess of Wales Theater, Toronto, III, 1992
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Saint-Pierremont, 1992
Steel and rebar
94 × 109.2 × 34.3 cm
37 × 43 × 13 1/2 inches

Frank Stella
Saint-Pierremont, 1992
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Saint-Pierremont, 1992 (detail)

Frank Stella
Saint-Pierremont, 1992
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Saint-Pierremont, 1992 (detail)

Frank Stella
Saint-Pierremont, 1992
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Saint-Pierremont, 1992 (detail)

Frank Stella
Saint-Pierremont, 1992
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
The Sperm Whale's Head, 1989
Mixed media on fabricated aluminium and magnesium
179.1 × 160 × 120.7 cm
70 1/2 × 63 × 47 1/2 inches

Frank Stella
The Sperm Whale's Head, 1989
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
The Sperm Whale's Head, 1989 (detail)

Frank Stella
The Sperm Whale's Head, 1989
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
The Sperm Whale's Head, 1989 (detail)

Frank Stella
The Sperm Whale's Head, 1989
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Shards IV (4.75X), 1983
Mixed media on aluminium and fibreglass
457.2 × 515.6 × 101.6 cm
180 × 203 × 40 inches

Frank Stella
Shards IV (4.75X), 1983
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015
Flexible RPT
203.2 × 243.8 × 243.8 cm
80 × 96 × 96 inches

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015 (detail)

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015 (detail)

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015 (detail)

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015 (detail)

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015 (detail)

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015 (detail)

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015 (detail)

Frank Stella
Summer Star (Net), 2015
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Blue Hat 1, 2018
Acrylic on canvas
114.6 × 120 cm
45 1/8 × 47 1/4 inches

Frank Stella
Blue Hat 1, 2018
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Blue Hat 1, 2018 (detail)

Frank Stella
Blue Hat 1, 2018
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Blue Hat 1, 2018 (detail)

Frank Stella
Blue Hat 1, 2018
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Blue Hat 1, 2018 (detail)

Frank Stella
Blue Hat 1, 2018
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Blue Hat 1, 2018 (detail)

Frank Stella
Blue Hat 1, 2018
Frank Stella
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Blue Hat 1, 2018 (detail)

Frank Stella
Blue Hat 1, 2018
Details
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Current and Upcoming
Frank Stella
Installation view, Op Art in Focus, Tate Liverpool

Op Art in Focus
Tate Liverpool
July 21, 2018–Ongoing

In light of developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), exhibitions, events and talks are subject to change.

Op Art in Focus is a part of Tate Liverpool’s in Focus series—displays of the Tate collection dedicated to significant modern and contemporary artists or movements. The display moves beyond the typical period of op art and includes works by a wide selection of modern and contemporary artists.

Link

Frank Stella
Frank Stella: What You See
Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL
June 1–September 27, 2020

In light of developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), exhibitions, events and talks are subject to change.

This exhibition features works by Frank Stella in regional collections, including the Tampa Museum of Art’s permanent collection, that presents a snapshot view of one of today’s most influential living artists. The intimate selection of works provides an overview of Stella’s oeuvre from his exploration of minimal forms in the 1960s and 1970s to the creation of lyrical multimedia compositions in the late 1990s.

Link
Frank Stella
Frank Stella, Shards I, 1982. Tampa Museum of Art, Gift of Petersburg Press, Inc. (NYC), 1986.001. © 2020 Frank Stella / Artists rights Society (ARS), New York
Frank Stella
Frank Stella, Had Gadya: Then Came an Ox and Drank the Water, 1982-84. Collection of BNY Mellon. © 2020 Frank Stella / Artists rights Society (ARS), New York

Frank Stella
Frank Stella: Illustrations After El Lissitzky's Had Gadya
Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL
June 1–September 27, 2020

In light of developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), exhibitions, events and talks are subject to change.

Frank Stella created the series Illustrations after El Lissitzky’s Had Gadya (1984) after seeing artist El Lissitzky’s artwork at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. “Had Gadya” is an allegorical song sung at the close of the Passover Seder, and Lissitzky’s modernist interpretation of the traditional song highlighted the influence of the Russian avant-garde in his work. Rather than re-interpret the song, Stella responded to Lissitzky’s abstractions with his own signature vibrant palette and curvilinear gestures. This exhibition features Stella’s complete portfolio of twelve prints, each unique in technique and color.

Link

Shapeshifters: Transformations in Contemporary Art
Donald Judd, Frank Stella, Kara Walker
Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI
July 22, 2020–Ongoing

This exhibition explores the artist’s ability to redefine themselves, transgress their chosen medium, and transcend the world around them in utterly unique ways. Through the lens of artistry, these transformations are examined in a broad range of artworks from the museum’s permanent collection, presented in four galleries, each with a distinct focus.

Link
Frank Stella
Frank Stella, Takht-i-Sulayman Variation I (from the Protractor Series), 1969. Cranbrook Art Museum, Gift of Rose M. Shuey, from the Collection of Dr. John and Rose M. Shuey. © 2020 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: R. H. Hensleigh
Frank Stella
Installation view, With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985, MOCA Grand Avenue. Courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo by Jeff Mclane

With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985
Hessel Museum of Art, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College
Summer 2020–Winter 2020/21

In light of developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), exhibitions, events and talks are subject to change

Covering the years 1972 to 1985 and featuring approximately fifty artists from across the United States, this exhibition examines the Pattern and Decoration movement’s defiant embrace of forms traditionally coded as feminine, domestic, ornamental, or craft-based and thought to be categorically inferior to fine art. It traces the movement’s broad reach in postwar American art.

Link

Frank Stella
Frank Stella’s Stars, A Survey
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT
September 20, 2020–May 9, 2021

In light of developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), exhibitions, events and talks are subject to change.

Among the myriad of forms that have appeared in Frank Stella’s work, the star is the most singular, standing out as a stable and immediately identifiable shape in the midst of the complex tangle of abstract, invented forms that the artist has utilized over his long career. Frank Stella’s Stars will be presented both indoors and outdoors, with several monumental works being sited in The Aldrich’s Sculpture Garden.

Link
Frank Stella
Photo by Douglas DuBois. Left: Frank Stella, “Nessus and Dejanira,” 2017, aluminum and fiberglass © 2020 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Center: Frank Stella, “Four Piece Table Sculpture,” 2019, RPT and steel © 2020 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Frank Stella
Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen © 2020 Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Christopher E. Manning

Frank Stella
Frank Stella’s Stars, A Survey
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield
September 20, 2020–May 9, 2021

Among the myriad of forms that have appeared in Frank Stella’s (b. 1936) work, the star is the most singular, standing out as a stable and immediately identifiable shape amidst the tangle of abstract, invented forms that the artist has utilized over his long career. The historical arc of Stella’s use of the star travels from the minimal to the maximal, with the recent star sculptures frequently exhibiting a corruption of the form as well as a wild diversity of materials and fabrication techniques.

Link
Exhibitions at Sprüth Magers
Frank Stella

Frank Stella
Recent Work
September 14–October 26, 2018
Los Angeles

Frank Stella's work across media, from painting to sculpture to printmaking, has continuously broken ground at each stage of his decades-long career, remaining influential and relevant to subsequent generations of contemporary artists. This is the first solo exhibition of Frank Stella’s painting and sculpture in Los Angeles since 1995. The selection of works highlights the artist’s ongoing experimentation with spatial representation and includes the début of a new painting series.

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Press

Defending Late Stella
Art in America, article by P.C. Smith, March 2016

Frank Stella: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Artforum International, article by Thomas Crow, February 2016

Frank Stella Doesn’t Believe in Artistic Reinvention
Artsy, article by Alina Cohen, June 11, 2019

Editor’s Pick: Frank Stella on Six Decades of Experimentation and Change
Introspective Magazine, interview by Ted Loos, January 22, 2018

The Surprising Tale of One of Frank Stella’s Black Paintings
The New York Times, article by Ted Loos, February 17, 2019

Notes on the Culture: The Constellation of Frank Stella
The New York Times, article by Megan O’Grady, March 18, 2020

Big Ideas: A Frank Stella retrospective.
The New Yorker, article by Peter Schjeldahl, November 9, 2015

‘Frank Stella Unbound’, Review: Leaving His Mark on Literature
The Wall Street Journal, article by Karen Wilkin, June 25, 2018

 

Biography

Frank Stella (*1936, Malden, MA) lives and works in New York. His works have received numerous large-scale solo exhibitions, including at Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (2020), Princeton University Art Museum (2018), NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale, FL (2017–18), The de Young Museum, San Francisco (2016), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015), POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw (2016), Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2012), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2007), Haus der Kunst, Munich (1996), Museum of Modern Art, New York (1988, 1970), Kunsthalle Bielefeld (1977), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1970) and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1965). Major recent group exhibitions include those at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2019–20), The Met Breuer, New York (2019), National Museum of Art, Osaka (2018), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2017), Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2017), and National Gallery, London (2017). In 2015, Stella won the National Artist Award from The Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Aspen, and in 2009, he received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.

Education
1950–54 Phillips Academy, Andover, MA; studied painting under Patrick Morgan
1954–58 Princeton University, Princeton, NJ; studied History and Art History under Stephen Greene and William Seitz
Awards, Grants and Fellowships
2019 Lifetime of Artistic Excellence Award, Black Alumni of Pratt
2015 National Artist Award, The Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Aspen, CO
2010 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama, Washington, DC
2001 Gold Medal of the National Arts Club, New York
1998 Gold Medal of the National Arts Club, New York
1992 Barnard Medal of Distinction, New York
1989 Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Government
1986 Honorary Degree, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
1985 Award of American Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia
1985 Honorary Degree, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
1984 Honorary Doctor of Arts, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
1983 Appointed Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
1981 New York City Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture
1981 Medal for Painting, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME
1981 Honorary Fellowship, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem
1979 Awarded the Claude M. Fuess Distinguished Service Award, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA
1967 First Prize, International Biennial Exhibition of Paintings, Tokyo
Public Collections
Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Art Institute of Chicago
Baltimore Museum
Brooklyn Museum
Brown University, List Art Center, Providence, RI
Cleveland Museum of Art
Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Dallas Museum of Art
Denver Art Museum
Detroit Institute of Arts
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, MA
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA
Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art, Sakura
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
Kitakyushu Municipal Museum
Kunstmuseum, Basel
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Museum Bochum
Museum Boymans von Beuningen, Rotterdam
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum Folkwang, Essen
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
Philadelphia Art Museum
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Seattle Art Museum
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
Tate, London
The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
The Saint Louis Art Museum
University of Michigan Art Museum, East Lansing, MI
Vancouver Art Museum
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Yale University Art Gallery New Haven, CT