Frank Stella (b. 1936)
Frank Stella was born in Maiden, Massachusetts in 1936. He studied at Phillips Academy, Andover and received his BA in history from Princeton University in 1958. Upon graduation, Stella moved to New York City. His work gained prominent exposure almost immediately: in 1959, it was included in the seminal exhibition, Sixteen Americans, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and, that same year, Stella’s black paintings were the basis of his first one-man show at the renowned Leo Castelli Gallery. In 1970, at the age of 34, he became the youngest artist ever to receive a career retrospective.
Stella's early work is concerned with the regulation of structure and color, and exhibits the precision and rationality that characterized minimalism. He is known for his innovation; both his aesthetic and techniques have evolved throughout his career. During the 1960s, Stella began painting on irregularly shaped canvases; the 1970s saw his newly liberal use of color. By the 1980s, Stella was employing increasingly dynamic and improvised forms, also incorporating mixed media and three-dimensionality into his work. In the 1990s, the artist was commissioned for major public sculpture and architectural projects.
Stella has worked extensively in the graphic media throughout his career, notably with master printer Ken Tyler at Gemini G.E.L. and, subsequently, at Tyler Graphics. The prints they created together grew in complexity over time as Stella began experimenting with multiple techniques. Their later prints are groundbreaking in both scale and texture.
Frank Stella is considered one of the most important contemporary artists and printmakers. His work can be found worldwide in the permanent collections of museums, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Kunstmuseum, Basel; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Thyseen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid. He received the National Medal of Arts in 2009.
Frank Stella currently lives and works in New York.