In honor of the 4th of July, we will be looking at famous American artists in our collection and one who needs no introduction is Frank Stella:
Frank Stella grew up in Massachusetts and attended Princeton University, where he majored in history. He visited many New York art galleries and began to pursue art as a career, moving to New York in 1958. Once there he produced works which emphasized the picture-as-object, rather than the picture as a representation of something, be it something in the physical world, or something in the artist’s emotional world. They were met with great acclaim and soon in the mid-1960’s Stella began his extended engagement with printmaking.
In 1967, Stella designed the set and costumes for Scramble, a dance piece by Merce Cunningham and the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented a retrospective of Stella’s work in 1970, making him the youngest artist every to receive one. After which he introduced relief into his art, coming to call it “maximalist” painting for its sculptural qualities. From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, Stella’s deep relief gave way to full three-dimensionality, with sculptural forms derived from cones, pillars, French curves, waves, and decorative architectural elements. In the 1990s, Stella began making free-standing sculpture for public spaces and developing architectural projects.
Today Stella is an active proponent of artist’s copyright laws and continues to create, keeping up the pace and the interest, despite the incredible amount of artists and works being produced in the contemporary art arena.