Tuesday, August 18, 2009


This massive wall-relief is constructed from sections of brightly painted aluminum which have been fixed to a rectangular base. Stella has skillfully balanced the monumental quality of the work with the apparent freedom of its support, offered by a discreet curved grille structure which permits the spectator to see through to the wall behind. The three-dimensional abstract cut-outs challenge the traditional confines of the picture plane as their freedom of construction permits no defined edges.

The work shows a number of influences. One of these is Minimalism, demonstrated in the use of mass-made material and the industrial method of enlarging a maquette which was handmade by the artist. Another is Abstract Expressionism, evident in the freely applied paint. Stella's wide range of work includes highly innovative prints, some of which are monumental in size.

Frank Stella. b Malden, MA, 1936. Katsura. 1979. Oil and epoxy on aluminum and wire mesh with metal tubing. h292.1 x w233.7 cm. h115 x w92 in. Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

See: Caro, Hofmann, Johns, Kelly, Pollock, Ryman

The Art Book (p.445). New York: Phaidon Press Inc (2001)

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