Artist Frank Stella, precursor of minimalism, dies at 87 | Culture | EUROtoday

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The painter Frank Stella, a distinguished determine in American post-war artwork, particularly together with his early minimalist works, died this Saturday at his house in New York, on the age of 87, attributable to lymphoma, in response to stories. The New York Times. Despite the insistence of critics, Stella refused to interpret her work with a well-known phrase: “What you see is what you see.”

Born in 1936, in Malden, Massachusetts, son of Frank and Constance Stella, he a gynecologist and she or he a panorama painter, he started his profession with sober work, some with little shade and no pretensions to offering visible stimulation, which contrasted with summary expressionism. of the time. His early works included a sequence of work utilizing the approach pinstriping (massive format works with high-quality black traces on white canvas) that triggered a sensation within the American artwork world.

“He was one of the first American artists to be educated in abstraction and, therefore, develop and progress in it in a natural way, without any traumatic conversion,” wrote the critic Francisco Calvo Serraller on this newspaper in 2012.

Before he was 25, Stella was already acknowledged as one of many nice American artists, and his profession spanned six many years. After ending his History diploma at Princeton University, the younger artist opened his studio in Manhattan, the place he started engaged on his dark-toned work. “Everything seems alive and fabulous to you when you are young,” he stated in an interview with this newspaper on the event of a retrospective on the IVAM in Valencia in 2012. “One good thing about that time is that there were actually few of us. You could meet everyone, people with common interests got together. The art world was not very big. Today it is totally different, there are countless artists, galleries, museums, exhibitions.”

From black paints to paint

Thanks to your sequence Black Paintingslarge-scale work consisting of darkish stripes barely separated by traces of unpainted canvas, achieved superstar by opposing the present of summary expressionism dominant within the Fifties. They had been obtained as a problem to the dominant development, represented with nice weight by Pollock or De Koonig, and had been decisive for the start of minimalism.

“Although Stella was very aware of the magnitude of the contribution of abstract expressionism in general, she felt the need to do something else, something like what Jasper Johns and Rauschenberg had already undertaken—the conversion of painting into an object—but in an even more radical way,” writes Calvo Serraller. Four of those works had been included within the now legendary exhibition of 1959 Sixteen Americans on the MoMA in New York, a bunch present through which Stella was the youngest participant, whereas additionally holding her first solo present at Leo Castelli's gallery.

Stella himself was not clear about his response to summary expressionism, as he admitted to this newspaper: “I don't think mine was a reaction against abstract expressionism,” he defined. “I was just trying to be as direct as possible. I was trying to find something closer to my sense of consciousness. Without filters. No drama or anxiety. Something immediate and that would cause an impact. And at the same time it was understood first. “Instant visual understanding.”

'Hatra II', a work by Frank Stella, one of those exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, photographed on June 19, 2006.
'Hatra II', a piece by Frank Stella, a kind of exhibited on the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, photographed on June 19, 2006.Luis Alberto García Pérez

Subsequently, the painter skilled a change of register and through the next years he turned in direction of the colourful works, so attribute of his work, a few of them nonetheless with stripes, others with geometric figures. In these years the onerous edge (hard-edged paints) prevails and the artist surprises the world together with his formed canvases, with which he shows his designs in whimsical, spectacular and more and more bigger codecs. Towards the top of the Sixties she launched into the bold challenge Protractor, a sequence of huge work composed of overlapping semicircles of brilliant colours. This change of register marked the start of an virtually frenetic exercise (greater than 10,000 works are attributed to him, and he might work on as much as ten items at a time). Later, from the late 70s, the artist launched into the manufacturing of three-dimensional items: often called baroque constructions, every work is extra advanced, richer and sensible than the earlier one.

The American artist Frank Stella with one of his works exhibited at the Royal Academy exhibition, in London, in 2000.
The American artist Frank Stella with one in all his works exhibited on the Royal Academy exhibition, in London, in 2000.Ian Nicholson – PA Images (Getty Images)

“Always working in a systematic, serial and conscientious manner, it is surprising how Stella, without giving up her puritan principles, which remind us of that sanitized aesthetic of Dutch painting, from Vermeer to Mondrian, could lead to the fantastic ultra-baroque festival of pictorial works, if They can be called this way, frozen pyrotechnics,” wrote Calvo Serraller.

In 1961 he married Barbara Rose, who would develop into a famend artwork critic. The marriage lasted till 1969, after they divorced. In the Nineteen Seventies and Eighties, he more and more turned to three-dimensional works through which he included aluminum and fiberglass, earlier than making monumental sculptures for public areas. The MoMA in New York supplied retrospectives of her work in 1970 and once more in 1987. During the Eighties, Stella was guided by music and literature, for instance, in a sculptural sequence impressed by Moby Dickwith such advanced shapes that it had extra in widespread with architectural fashions than with conventional sculptures.

Frank Stella exhibition at the IVAM in 2012.
Frank Stella exhibition on the IVAM in 2012.Joseph Jordan

A big pattern of this nice manufacturing could possibly be seen within the 2016 anthological exhibition on the Whitney Museum in New York. With 100 works chosen by the artist himself and distributed in response to his needs, the exhibition occupied 560 sq. meters of the luxurious constructing constructed by Renzo Piano subsequent to the Hudson River. There he remembered his best-known thought: “Painting is just a flat surface with paint on top. And nothing more”.

He reflected on this, with some humor, in that conversation with EL PAÍS: “Most of the painting that is seen today is the result of Photoshop. It's like photography, manipulated photography. And that medium is where many of the ideas for current painting come from. As for other forms such as installations or performances, they are also greatly influenced by the digital world. It is what it is. “Painting with paint on a canvas only occurs to people like me, to dinosaurs.”

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