About the artist

    Lives and works in Manhattan, New York
    1936: Born in Malden, Massachusetts

    Frank Stella is an American painter and printmaker, noted for his work in the areas of minimalism and post-painterly abstraction.

    Stella was born in Malden, Massachusetts, to parents of Italian descent. After attending high school at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, he attended Princeton University, where he majored in history and met Darby Bannard and Michael Fried.

    Early visits to New York art galleries influenced his artist development, and his work was influenced by the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline. Stella moved to New York in 1958, after his graduation.

    He is one of the most well-regarded postwar American painters still working today. Frank Stella has reinvented himself in consecutive bodies of work over the course of his five-decade career. Notably, he is heralded for creating abstract paintings that bear no pictorial illusions or psychological or metaphysical references in twentieth-century painting.

    Upon moving to New York City, he reacted against the expressive use of paint by most painters of the abstract expressionist movement, instead finding himself drawn towards the "flatter" surfaces of Barnett Newman's work and the "target" paintings of Jasper Johns. He began to produce works which emphasized the picture-as-object, rather than the picture as a representation of something, be it something in the physical world, or something in the artist's emotional world. Stella married Barbara Rose, later a well-known art critic, in 1961.

    Around this time he said that a picture was "a flat surface with paint on it - nothing more". This was a departure from the technique of creating a painting by first making a sketch. Many of the works are created by simply using the path of the brush stroke, very often using common house paint.

    This new aesthetic found expression in a series of paintings, the Black Paintings (69) in which regular bands of black paint were separated by very thin pinstripes of unpainted canvas. Die Fahne Hoch! (1959) is one such painting. It takes its name ("The Raised Banner" in English) from the first line of the Horst-Wessel-Lied, the anthem of the National Socialist German Workers Party, and Stella pointed out that it is in the same proportions as banners used by that organization. It has been suggested that the title has a double meaning, referring also to Jasper Johns' paintings of flags. In any case, its emotional coolness belies the contentiousness its title might suggest, reflecting this new direction in Stella's work.

    Source: Frank Stella Wikipedia

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