Thursday, June 13, 2013

Stella, Frank

Hiraqla 1
Acrylic polymer and fluorescent polymer on canvas
10 x 20 feet
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, USA

Frank Stella treated his paintings like constructed objects rather than pictures. In Hiraqla, he replaced the traditional rectangular format with a distinctive outer profile. This further extends the idea of the surface as an object in its own right rather than as a field for illusions. There is no figure-ground relationship, for all is figure. Interwoven bands of both muted and Day-Glo acrylic colors pull together in a tight spatial weave.

Frank Stella (1936 - ) is an American painter and printmaker, noted for his work in the areas of minimalism and post-painterly abstraction. He was born the oldest of three children to first-generation Italian-American parents in Massachusetts. In his sophomore year of high school, he began learning to paint. He went on to Princeton University and continued taking art courses while earning a degree in history. His Princeton professors introduced Stella to the New York art world by bringing him to exhibitions in the city, thereby shaping his earliest artistic aesthetic.

Stella is one of the greatest living artists whose impact is felt in the work of many contemporary American artists and styles. His color variations, exploration of circular motifs, and shaped canvases influenced artists like Kenneth Noland and served as a catalyst for such developments as Color Field painting and Post-Painterly Abstraction. His intellectual conception of painting brought him close to the realm of sculpture. In the 1990s, Stella began making freestanding sculpture for public spaces and developing architectural projects.