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    • FRANK STELLA (b.1936)


        American Painter & Printmaker

        He was born at Malden, Mass. He was at Princeton from 1954, studying history, but also went to painting classes. In 1958 he set up in New York as an Abstract Expressionist, but began by house painting for a living. His aims were changed by seeing Jasper Johns's flags and targets, and he began his Black Paintings, done in stripes with tiny lines drawn geometrically to create a Minimalist work. He then shaped the support, creating a series based on a protractor, with ninety-three variants on these motives, in geometric forms and bright colour.

        He then began the Polish Village series, combining wood, canvas, felt, card, aluminium to build structures which were each called after a synagogue destroyed by the Nazis. Exotic bird-like shapes, in relief, often on a wire framework, are painted amid vegetation in brilliant colours.

        There are works in Dusseldorf, Eindhoven, London (Tate), Munster, New York (M of MA, Whitney), St Louis and Washington (Hirschhorn).

      • Source: The Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists (Penguin Reference Books)


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Updated: 2006