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Frank Stella

American, b. 1936

Frank Stella is one of the central figures in postwar American art. A proponent of minimalism and non-representational abstraction, Stella is a painter, printmaker and sculptor. A native of Massachusetts, he attended Phillips Academy in Andover and earned a BA from Princeton, where he studied art and color theory with Josef Albers and Hans Hofmann.

Stella frequented New York galleries as a student and was intrigued by the work of Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline, both of whom were at the height of their creative powers in the late 1950s. After moving to New York in 1958, he gravitated toward the geometric abstraction and restrained painting style of Barnett Newman and Jasper Johns. Johns’s flat, graphic images of common objects such as targets and flags prompt viewers to question the essential nature of representation and whether these pictures are really paintings or simply new iterations of the items themselves. Stella pushed Johns’s reasoning further, considering paintings on canvas as objects in their own right, like sculptures, rather than representations. This led him to reject certain formal conventions, eschewing sketches and often using nontraditional materials, like house paint.

In 1959, Stella created his “Black Paintings,” series, in which bands of black paint are separated by thin, precise stripes of bare canvas. At a time when contemporary painting was all about wild gestures, thick paint and formal abandon, these pieces created a sensation. That same year, Stella's work was included in the exhibition "Sixteen Americans" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and he joined the roster of artists represented by Leo Castelli Gallery. In 1960, he began introducing color into his work and using unconventionally shaped canvases to complement his compositions.

In his “Eccentric Polygon” series, from 1965 and ‘66, Stella embraces asymmetry and bold color, creating forms delineated by painted fields and by the edges of the canvas. This series was followed by the 1967–70 “Protractor” series, characterized by colorful circles and arcs. Named after the ancient cities whose circular plans Stella had noticed while traveling in the Middle East during the 1960s, these works usually comprised several canvases set flush against one another so that the geometric figures in each section came together in a larger, more complex whole.

Also in the mid-1960s, Stella started exploring printmaking, initially working with Kenneth Tyler, of Gemini G.E.L., and later installing printing equipment in his own studio. In 1968, he created the “V” series of lithographs,which included the print Quathlamba I. Following a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1970, Stella began working in three dimensions, adding relief elements to paintings, which could almost be considered wall-mounted sculptures.

Stella’s 1970–73 “Polish Village” series was inspired by a documentary photos and architectural drawings of Polish synagogues that had been destroyed by Nazis during World War II. The resulting works — composed primarily of paint and cloth on plywood — are more rugged and less polished than his previous series. Herman Melville's Moby Dick was his muse for a series of three- dimensional works he created in the 1980s in which waveforms, architectural elements and Platonic solids play a prominent role. During this period, Stella embraced a new, exuberant style that is exemplified in "La Scienza della Fiacca." In 1997, he oversaw the creation of the Stella Project, a 5,000-square-foot work inside the Moores Opera House at the University of Houston. A large free-standing sculpture by Stella stands outside the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Stella’s work is in the collections of numerous important museum collections around the world, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Menil Collection, in Houston; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, in Washington, D.C.; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama in 2009, and was given the Lifetime Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture by the International Sculpture Center in 2011.

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Average Sold Price
$5,358
Styles
Materials
Frank Stella 'EGYPLOSIS (AXSOM 240)' Lithograph 1996
By Frank Stella
Located in Delray Beach, FL
Frank Stella's 'EGYPLOSIS (AXSOM 240)' is a 1996 multimedia print comprised of lithograph, etching, aquatint, relief, stamping and screenprinting with silver foil elements. It's prin...
Category

1990s Contemporary Frank Stella

Materials

Lithograph

Empress of India I
By Frank Stella
Located in London, GB
Lithograph, in colours, 1968, on Lowell paper, Signed, numbered, and dated from the edition of 100, Published by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles., sheet: 41.3 x 89.9 cm. (16¼ x 35½ in.), ...
Category

1960s Frank Stella

Materials

Screen

A Squeeze of the Hand (From the Waves Series), 1988
By Frank Stella
Located in Palo Alto, CA
Frank Stella’s A Squeeze of the Hand, from the Waves Series, 1988 is part of an ongoing effort by Stella interpret and transform Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. In Stella’s “Wave” serie...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Frank Stella

Materials

Lithograph, Linocut, Screen

Empress of India II
By Frank Stella
Located in London, GB
Lithograph, in colours, 1968, on Lowell paper, signed, numbered, and dated from the edition of 100, Published by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles., sheet: 41.3 x 89 cm. (16¼ x 35 in.), fra...
Category

1960s Frank Stella

Materials

Screen

Frank Stella 'Sinjerli Variation Squared with Colored Ground III' Lithograph
By Frank Stella
Located in Delray Beach, FL
Frank Stella's 'Sinjerli Variation Squared with Colored Ground III'' is a 1981 lithograph printed in colors on wove paper. This piece is an artist proof from an edition of 32. Plea...
Category

1980s Contemporary Frank Stella

Materials

Lithograph

Moby Dick from The Waves, 1989
By Frank Stella
Located in Palo Alto, CA
Frank Stella Moby Dick, from The Waves Series, 1989, named after a chapter from the Herman Melville classic Moby Dick is one from a series of pieces that explores the novel. The mult...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Frank Stella

Materials

Lithograph, Linocut, Screen

Nemrik
By Frank Stella
Located in Long Island City, NY
Nemrik by Frank Stella, American (1936) Date: 1999 Screenprint, etching, and lithograph, signed, numbered, and dated in pencil Edition of 10/60 with 14 APs. Image Size: 43 x 31 inche...
Category

1990s Abstract Expressionist Frank Stella

Materials

Lithograph, Etching, Screen

  • Nemrik
  • Nemrik
  • Nemrik
  • Nemrik
H 52.5 in. W 40.5 in.
The Hyena, from The Waves Series, 1989
By Frank Stella
Located in Palo Alto, CA
Created in 1989, this color silkscreen, lithorgraphy, and linoleum block with hand-coloring, marbling, and collage on T.H. Saunders and Somerset paper was hand-signed and dated by Fr...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Frank Stella

Materials

Lithograph, Linocut, Screen

Browse all Art from Frank Stella
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Galleries Featuring Frank Stella

Alpha 137 Gallery
5.0
Masterworks Fine Art
No Reviews Yet
Bernard Jacobson Gallery
4.8
GREGG SHIENBAUM FINE ART
5.0
Composition Gallery
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Petersburg Press
5.0

Frank Stella art for sale on 1stDibs

Find wide variety of authentic Frank Stella art available for sale on 1stDibs. If you're looking for art to add a pop of color to a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of orange, blue, green and other colors. You can also browse art by Frank Stella in lithograph, screen print, mixed media and more. Much of this artist's original work was created during the 20th century and is mostly associated with the abstract style. Not every interior allows for large Frank Stella art, so small editions measuring 14.970000267028809 inches across are available. Customers interested in this artist might also find the work of Antoni Tàpies, Robert Motherwell and Helen Frankenthaler. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $175 and tops out at $775,000 while the average work can sell for $12,350.

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