Nadja Sayej profiles painter Frank Stella. A retrospective of Stella's work will be on view at the Whitney Museum, New York, from October 30, 2015 - February 7, 2016.
Sayej writes: "Even though his work has evolved drastically – from monochromatic to colorful, sculpted to fabricated – Stella cringes at the word 'reinvented'. 'I don’t like the word reinvent, you’re lucky enough to invent,' he said. 'It’s about what you make, what you learn from it and what it suggests. And move on.'"
Klein writes "What I ... appreciate and admire is his restlessness and almost relentless need for invention and exploration. He addresses painting as a proposition. In that proposition exist many solutions and permutations and the possibilities of precisely how far you could push the notion of painting into something that might actually evolve into sculpture. If Sol Lewitt moved painting from the canvas to the wall, then Stella moved painting into the third dimension. He made something come off the wall into the viewer’s space. Ironically both men rely upon an architectural setting to provide the context in which the work is to be presented. Lewitt needs a wall or walls that determine the height and length of a wall drawing, Stella the dimensions of a wall because his paintings are no longer bound by the limits of stretcher bar or frame."
Dooley writes that the exhibtion "brings together a group of collages from the 20th century united by the stylistic trait of 'painterliness.' ... Though painterliness obviously has its roots in painting, this exhibition shows how easily and successfully the concept can be applied to other mediums; painterliness is, in a sense, materiality, which is why collage – the mixing of different materials and forms – seems to be one of the best mediums to demonstrate this visual effect."
http://themaximilian.com/#Shadowy Things and the Pulpit of Modernism
Considering works by Van Gogh, Kandinsky, and Frank Stella, Mark Stone muses on the ongoing tension between figuration and pure abstraction in abstract painting.
Stone wrties: "What our abstract painting lacks is a more comprehensive way of seeing and producing imagery that accomodates both our lens-based dematerialised culture and the physical life we live. Our painting should define a different kind of visual engagement and understanding, one that moves us beyond the detrimental influence of our mannered Modernism. At this point in Post-modern cultural history we painters must begin to resolve the problem of illusionistic thickness defined in Stella’s early Black Paintings and the legacy of that shadow cast by van Gogh’s table. Yet, we choose to remain forever elsewhere, floating in Kandinsky’s nebulous universe."
Linsley writes: "The Plurimi of Emilio Vedova are clear precursors of Stella’s relief paintings, and the differences between the two groups of work are revealing. Vedova’s works had an origin in sets for an opera by Luigi Nono that he had done in 1961. The effort was to make an enveloping space, to place the viewer within the work... Vedova is trying to spread, to conquer space; Stella, as he has often said, stays pictorial, if pictorial means a kind of gathering of everything together in front of a ground plane."
Micchelli writes that Stella's assertion 'What you see is what you see' is a comment on the obvious. And its visual correlative - stark black enamel stripes arranged in a predetermined symmetrical pattern - is the work of a precocious smart aleck... demonstrating the true condition of the art form. Stella's attention-getting tactics aside, it is astonishing that what he was doing then - which was received as both ultra-radical and instantly blue-chip... feels as of-the-moment as his most recent work... Which, for an artist who’s just turned 76, is a feat in itself."
John Bunker reflects on the daring nature of Frank Stella's oeuvre.
Bunker notes: "Stella started his career by examining the architecture of a painting as object. He makes the image and the object one….This is a guy who knows what Modernism is with a capital M! He is not an artist of touch, of painterliness. His career has been about how to find a truly modern space; it is abstract for sure, but it reflects us, refracts us- our desires, our alienated angst- just as Manet did in 'A Bar at the Folies- Bergere' one hundred and fifty years before."
Installation images with text from Nicholas O'Brien about a new collaborative mural by Frank Stella & Santiago Calatrava Mural Collaboration entitled The Michael Kohlhaas Curtain recently on view at the Neue Nationalgalerie.
O'Brien writes: "The neon colors of the 98 foot mural immediately jump out and clash against the surrounding stoic tones, while the gridded donut enclosure acts as an update the stagnant flat grid of Late Modern architecture.... The Curtain certainly takes cues from early 20th century murals, but instead of opting for a figurative approach, this collaboration tells an abundantly abstract story of the reciprocating influence that painting and architecture have had upon one another, as well as point toward a vivid future where both disciplines can merge into one grand gesture."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.