Saturday, May 04, 2024

Frank Stella, 1936-2024

Frank Stella, an American artist whose works included painting, sculpture, printmaking, and architecture, died today at his home in Greenwich Village at the age of 87. The video above, by Christie's, shows him giving a tour through his studio in 2019 in which he shows some of his works and talks about his creative process and his views about art.

According to his New York Times obituary:
Mr. Stella, a formalist of Calvinist severity, rejected all attempts to interpret his work. The sense of mystery, he argued, was a matter of “technical, spatial and painterly ambiguities.” In an oft-quoted admonition to critics, he insisted that “what you see is what you see” — a formulation that became the unofficial motto of the minimalist movement.

Despite his early committment to a minimalist aesthetic, his later works, some of which can be seen in the video, are exuberant in color and design. This might be expected of an artist who has cited Caravaggio as an influence.

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