50 Years of Abstract Art by Frank Stella: 90’s – Now

The ’90s: Stella as a 3D artist

In the ’90s, Frank Stella has finally reached the edge of conventional painting. We can almost sigh with relief when this bird is finally flying beyond painting’s traditional limits: Frank Stella starts to produce massive metal sculptures that do not have to be hung on the wall any more. He takes the three-dimensionality very seriously, and he’s ready to soar.

Stella is now delving now into true architectural projects. “Since the early ’90s, Frank Stella has embarked on architectural endeavors that are an extension of his career as a ground-breaking painter whose work has frequently alluded to a third dimension and has increasingly taken on an architectonic aspect.” said the Metropolitan Museum in New York once about his work.

‘Frank Stella: Painting into Architecture’ was one of their exhibitions which explored Stella’s interest in architecture over the course of his career. It showed his “profound engagement with the designing and crafting of space over the past decade in particular, through works in a variety of media that are characteristically exuberant, expressionistic, and sculptural.”

The video clip in our article of the the double exhibition of Frank Stella’s work at the Met (‘Frank Stella: Painting into Architecture’ and ‘Frank Stella on the Roof’) shows many of Stella’s great sculptures and recent works, and is well-worth reviewing for Stella enthusiasts.

Frank Stella Today

Here we are today. We’re now 2009 and at age 73, Stella is still actively working in New York.

In his recent work Frank Stella keeps on furthering himself, now, mounting his sculptures back onto the wall. In his current works called the “K”-series (2006- ), he is clearly part of contemporary culture, while also in tune with the our classics.

On the one hand Stella is producing sculptures which combine spray-painting with stainless steel spirals and fiberglass elements. On the other hand, Stella’s art is influenced by Scarlatti whose sounds are spirals in space. As well, Stella’s borrowing the practical numbering of Scarlatti’s sonatas, whose title numbers featured the letter K.

While his other series were exuberant and monumental, some of his current work in the K-series seems called back in size. What stands out above all: the K-series is imbued with graceful sophistication.

Further Investigation of Frank Stella’s Abstract

Beyond links to other parts to this article, to the Met double art exhibition and its works on show, you will also find a link to an article with video of a recent exhibition in St. Moritz, Switzerland, to be of outstanding value. Not only does it offer really good views of recent work in the K-series, the visuals are complemented with commentary by Frank Stella expert, Professor Prof. Dr. Franz-Joachim Verspohl.

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