Monday, April 11, 2011

frank stella

When I think of Frank Stella, I think stripes. I think shaped canvases. I think minimalism. I think of what he had to say about turning the painting into the object, rather than a surface on which an image is produced. I like the Frank Stella that comes to mind when I think of Frank Stella.

But what I hadn't realized until recently is that my Frank Stella of stripes (above) has been replaced by a man who makes not-so-minimal sculptures (seen below). Stella has been making this type of work since the late 70's, yet I think I'm correct in assuming that the majority of the art-viewing population thinks of stripes when they think of Stella.

It's not that these are terrible sculptures. I mean, I don't necessarily like them, but they're not BAD. I just have this odd sense of betrayal when I see them. Like I'm hit with this feeling of, "but that couldn't possibly be a Frank Stella." Seeing them makes me want to really look into his work and to see what he's trying to accomplish with these wacky 3D forms. Perhaps it's not so different from his 2D work after all, and I'm assuming/hoping that's the case, but I'm not yet convinced. I just really don't like them.

Ok, I said it. I really don't like Frank Stella's sculptures.

Worth sharing, I think... particularly in light of my recent sculpture/dance collaboration. below is a video of a dance choreographed by Merce Cunningham. Costumes and set by Frank Stella.

1 comment:

  1. Lauren,
    have you spent any time in the presence of actual Stella sculptures and large wall pieces? If not, you are judging them based on the equivalent of postcards. If so, I'm very interested in more depth on what you think of them other than betrayals.
    I travel a lot for work (I'm a guitar designer) and seek out Stella among others wherever I go. The breadth and depth is amazing. I don't like everything, but probably 95% I like or at least find stimulating aestheticallyt.
    Have fun.