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Frank Stella Paintings

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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Artist: Frank Stella
Les Indes Galantes III
By Frank Stella
Located in London, GB
Lithograph, 1973, on J. Green mould-made paper, signed, dated and numbered from the edition of 100, published by Petersburg Press Ltd., London., sheet: 40.6 x 55.9 cm. (16 x 22 in.),...
Category

1970s Frank Stella Paintings

Materials

Lithograph

Untitled
By Frank Stella
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A mixed media artwork by Frank Stella. "Untitled" is a playful Post-War piece, three dimensional mixed media on board, mounted on wood in bright and vivid colors by American artist F...
Category

Late 19th Century Post-War Frank Stella Paintings

Materials

Wood, Mixed Media, Board

Rakow
By Frank Stella
Located in London, GB
Acrylic, fabric and felt collage, in colours, 1972, on paperboard laid down on panel, signed, titled and dated '"RAKOW (SKETCH)" F Stella 72., 70.5 x 75.5 cm. (27 ¾ x 29 ¾ in.)
Category

1970s Abstract Frank Stella Paintings

Materials

Fabric, Felt, Acrylic, Pencil

Related Items
Rakow
By Frank Stella
Located in London, GB
Acrylic, fabric and felt collage, in colours, 1972, on paperboard laid down on panel, signed, titled and dated '"RAKOW (SKETCH)" F Stella 72., 70.5 x 75.5 cm. (27 ¾ x 29 ¾ in.)
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1970s Abstract Frank Stella Paintings

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  • Rakow
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Yellow Journal
By Frank Stella
Located in London, GB
Lithograph, 1982, on white Arches Cover, mould-made paper, signed and dated an AP aside the edition of 50, published by Tyler Graphics Ltd., Bedford Village, NY, sheet: 133.5 x 97.8 ...
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Les Indes Galantes I
By Frank Stella
Located in London, GB
Lithograph, in colours, 1973, on J. Green mould-made paper, signed, dated and numbered from the edition of 100, published by Petersburg Press Ltd., London., sheet: 40.6 x 55.9cm (16...
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Charlotte Tokayer
By Frank Stella
Located in London, GB
Lithograph, 1972, on Zerkall Copperplate Deluxe paper, signed and dated in pencil, from the edition of 100, published by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, 40.6 x 55.9 cm. (16 x 22 in.)
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1970s Frank Stella Paintings

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Sidney Guberman
By Frank Stella
Located in London, GB
Lithograph, 1972, on Zerkall Copperplate Deluxe paper, signed and dated in edition of 100, published by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, 40.6 x 55.9 cm. (16 x 22 in.)
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  • Sidney Guberman
  • Sidney Guberman
  • Sidney Guberman
  • Sidney Guberman
H 15.99 in. W 22.01 in.
The Waves: Squid
By Frank Stella
Located in London, GB
Silkscreen, lithograph, linoleum block with hand-colouring, marbling and collage, 1989, on T. H. Saunders and Somerset paper, signed, dated and numbered from the edition of 60, publi...
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  • The Waves: Squid
  • The Waves: Squid
  • The Waves: Squid
  • The Waves: Squid
H 74.81 in. W 54.73 in.
River of Ponds I
By Frank Stella
Located in London, GB
Lithograph in colours, 1971, on special Arjomari paper, signed, dated and numbered an AP aside from the edition of 78, published by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, sheet: 96.5 x 96.5 cm....
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1970s Minimalist Frank Stella Paintings

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Gran Cairo
By Frank Stella
Located in London, GB
Lithograph, 1972, on J. Green mould-made paper signed in pencil, dated and inscribed an AP aside from the edition of 100, published by Petersburg Press Ltd., London, sheet: 40.6 x 55...
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1970s Frank Stella Paintings

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  • Gran Cairo
  • Gran Cairo
  • Gran Cairo
  • Gran Cairo
H 15.99 in. W 22.01 in.
D.
By Frank Stella
Located in London, GB
Lithograph, 1972, on Zerkall Copperplate Deluxe paper, signed and dated in edition of 100, published by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, 40.6 x 55.9 cm. (16 x 22 in.)
Category

1970s Frank Stella Paintings

Materials

Lithograph

  • D.
  • D.
  • D.
  • D.
H 15.99 in. W 22.01 in.
Henry Garden
By Frank Stella
Located in London, GB
Lithograph, 1972, on Zerkall Copperplate Deluxe paper, signed and dated in edition of 100, published by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, 40.6 x 55.9 cm. (16 x 22 in.)
Category

1970s Frank Stella Paintings

Materials

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  • Henry Garden
  • Henry Garden
  • Henry Garden
  • Henry Garden
H 15.99 in. W 22.01 in.
Ileana Sonnabend
By Frank Stella
Located in London, GB
Lithograph, 1972, on Zerkall Copperplate Deluxe paper, signed and dated in edition of 100, published by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, 40.6 x 55.9 cm. (16 x 22 in.)
Category

1970s Frank Stella Paintings

Materials

Lithograph

  • Ileana Sonnabend
  • Ileana Sonnabend
  • Ileana Sonnabend
  • Ileana Sonnabend
H 15.99 in. W 22.01 in.
Sinjerli Variation 1a
By Frank Stella
Located in London, GB
Lithograph and screenprint in colours, 1977, on Arches Cover Paper, signed, dated and numbered from the edition of 100, published by Petersburg Press, New York., sheet: 81.3 × 107.3 ...
Category

1970s Abstract Frank Stella Paintings

Materials

Lithograph

Previously Available Items
Going Aboard (from the Wave Series)
By Frank Stella
Located in Santa Fe, NM
Created in 1989 Going Aboard is a lithograph and linocut in colors with hand-coloring, marbling and collage, on T.H. Saunders paper. It is hand-signed and dated by Frank Stella and i...
Category

1980s Frank Stella Paintings

Conspiracy
By Frank Stella
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Caviar20 is proud to be offering this exceptional example of Frank Stella's work. Stella is one of our favorite artists of the 20th century. His influence can be seen on countl...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Frank Stella Paintings

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Les Indes Gray
By Frank Stella
Located in Toronto, Ontario
The title of this series of Frank Stella lithographs, "Les Indes Gallantes" references a French opera-ballet composed in the 17th century. Like many of Stella's creations the con...
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1970s Frank Stella Paintings

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Moby Dick (from the Wave Series)
By Frank Stella
Located in Santa Fe, NM
the full sheet, S. 75 x 55 in (190.5 x 139.7 cm) signed, dated `88' or `89' and numbered 34/60 in pencil (there were also 10 artist's proofs), published by Waddington Graphics, London.
Category

Frank Stella Paintings

Frank Stella paintings for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic Frank Stella paintings for sale. You can also browse by medium to find art by Frank Stella in acrylic paint, paint, synthetic resin paint and more. Much of this artist's original work was created during the 1970s and is mostly associated with the abstract style. Not every interior permits large Frank Stella paintings, so small editions are available measuring 22.010000228881836 inches across. Customers interested in this artist might also find the work of James McCray, Charles Pebworth and Sam Gilliam. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $13,785 and tops out at $575,000, while the average work can sell for $161,699.
Questions About Frank Stella Paintings
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Frank Stella makes paintings, prints and sculptures. The American artist's abstract compositions mostly fall under the category of minimalism. His famous works include Sinjerli Variation IV, Shards and Harran II. You can shop a collection of Frank Stella art on 1stDibs.

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