Tuesday Art ATTACK!! Frank Stella "Harran II (1967)"

By Christian Franzen

Frank Stella was born May 12th, 1936 in Malden, Massachusetts. After completing high school Stella was accepted into Princeton University where he studied History. In his spare time Stella would paint and also visit the galleries in New York where he was heavily influenced by the new school of Abstract Expressionism. Upon graduating from Princeton in 1958, Stella moved to New York to pursue the life of an artist.

Getting in to the art world Stella found himself dissatisfied with the expressive and excessive use of paint by the expressionists and opted to try to achieve flatter surfaces on the canvas. Stella also began to work on emphasizing that the paintings as an object rather than the depiction or representation of something. Circa 1961 he is famously quoted saying that the painting is " a flat surface with paint on it -nothing more". This mindset ushered him into a different direction than his contemporaries of the time. Do to the idea that the painting was nonrepresentational Stella's work throughout the 1960's and 1970's relied on color and line for much of its aesthetic appeal.  

During the 1970's Stella's methods of creation expanded further than strictly paint. The artist began using printing presses and wood reliefs to achieve the qualities he wanted in his pieces. This ushered in a new dimensional look into his work which led him to pursue sculpture. Into the late 1970's through the 1990's Stella began to primarily work in sculpture on a larger scale. In 1997 he over saw the "Stella Project" in which he installed and painted the centerpiece to the Moore Opera House located at the University of Houston. It was an enormous 5,000 square foot project. Today Stella lives in New York where he spends time going between his apartment in the West Village and his studio in Newburgh.

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