Stella, who is regarded as one of most important living American artists, is celebrated at the new Chelsea premises of the Whitney. The retrospective covers Stella's abstract work from the 1950s to present day, with some 100 works from his outstanding career.

Frank Stella in his studio, 1985 Image via Nuvo Magazine Frank Stella in his studio, 1985
Image via Nuvo Magazine

The black paintings which stunned the art world in the 1950s, his three-dimensional works of the mid 1970s-1980s through to his most recent works are all brought together in a celebration of the champion of abstract art.

Frank Stella (b.1936), Damascus Gate (Stretch Variation III), 1970. Alkyd on canvas, 120 × 600 in. (304.8 × 1524 cm). The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; museum purchase funded by Alice Pratt Brown. © 2015 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Frank Stella (b.1936), Damascus Gate (Stretch Variation III), 1970. Alkyd on canvas, 120 × 600 in. (304.8 × 1524 cm). The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; museum purchase funded by Alice Pratt Brown. © 2015 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Frank Stella, Die Fahne hoch!, 1959. Enamel on canvas, 121 1/2 × 73 in. (308.6 × 185.4 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York Frank Stella, Die Fahne hoch!, 1959. Enamel on canvas, 121 1/2 × 73 in. (308.6 × 185.4 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Frank Stella (b. 1936), Marrakech, 1964. Fluorescent alkyd on canvas. 77 × 77 × 2 7/8 in. (195.6 × 195.6 × 7.6 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Frank Stella (b. 1936), Marrakech, 1964. Fluorescent alkyd on canvas. 77 × 77 × 2 7/8 in. (195.6 × 195.6 × 7.6 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

At the age of 23, a young Stella arrived in New York, fresh out of Princeton. It was at this time he launched his large-scale 'black paintings' to much a negative reception.

After this, he was a pioneering figure for the Minimalism of the 1960s but later his career moved in the direction of color, using plexiglass boxes and stacks of red bricks in his works. Stella's mission was to create abstract art with the same depth and complexity of old master paintings. He ditched the rectangle canvas and pushed the boundaries of using such standard forms.

Stella is as relevant today as he was in the 20th century, and the 79 year old artist continues to be a pioneering figure.

Frank Stella: A Retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art will run until February 7 2016. For more information see here.

 

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