Stella Retrospective at the Whitney An Astounding Esthetic Experience

FRANK STELLA: A RETROSPECTIVE at the Whitney Museum of American Art (10.30.2015-2.7.2016) takes up the entire fifth floor of the new Whitney.  This amazing amount of work, ranging from careful, quiet intelligence to loudly, expressive energy offers an astounding esthetic experience by one of the greatest living artist.

8FS early studies.72dpiThe Whitney website not only shows many of his paintings and wall sculptures but includes spoken commentary.  I can add little insight except my own personal response. I was taken by the small studies of what I think of Stella’s three primary directions of his work to date – minimal painting, wall sculptures, free-standing sculptures.

Maquettes from 1977, about three feet wide

Maquettes from 1977, about three feet wide

Circus of Pure Feeling for Malevich, 4 Square Circus, 16 parts, metal, wire mesh, paint and oil crayon, 2009 One of the 16 parts, about 20" high, metal and mirror

Circus of Pure Feeling for Malevich,
4 Square Circus, 16 parts, metal, wire mesh, paint and oil crayon, 2009
One of the 16 parts, about 20″ high,
metal and mirror

These little studies, from the 60’s I’m guessing, were maybe 18-20″ squares exploring  minimal options of straight line in a color field. They reminded me of Sol LeWitt and his large Mass MoCA installations.

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