Durability + Design
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site

 

DURABILITY + DESIGN BLOG

Comment |

Color Champion: Frank Stella

FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2017

By Jill Pilaroscia


More items for Color + Design

One of the most important artists of the last century, the formidable Frank Stella is currently the subject of a major retrospective at San Francisco’s de Young Museum. A rule breaker whose style has consistently evolved over the decades, Stella is known for his revolutionary approach to materials as well as his continued exploration of color, form, dimension and architecture.   

We’ve selected a few of the artist's pieces to illustrate what curators have called his "groundbreaking" and “aggressive" use of color, and how it has evolved over his 60-year career.

Frank Stella
Frank Stella, East Broadway, 1958
 

Stella began as a house and boat painter to pay the rent, and used the same commercial brushes and enamel paints in some of his early work.  He painted East Broadway soon after moving to New York City in 1958. The abstracted black and yellow stripes suggest New York taxis, a color scheme that is part of the city’s urban fabric. From early on in his career, Stella stretched his paint to the very edges of the canvas, thus highlighting the lack of frame or margin.

Stella
Frank Stella, Die Fahne Hoch!, 1959
 

Stella's Black Paintings series are devoid of illusion or representation. "The idea was to make paintings that were available to eyesight alone. Direct," the artist said in an interview with The Whitney Museum. "So it was a kind of like a visual imprint. When you saw something, you reacted to it. Like giving feelings to your eyesight." Deliberately non-representational, the Black Paintings had no "hidden" meaning. The artist famously said of them, "What you see is what you see." 

The black series was not universally well-received; many critics hated them. The artist noted, "There's a lot of difference between being well-known and being notorious. The black paintings didn't make me well-known—they made me notorious."

Frank Stella
Frank Stella, Cran Cairo, 1962
 

An early example of Stella’s color field paintings, Gran Cairo explores color in geometric form, a theme he evolved over time. 

Frank Stella
Frank Stella, Marrakech, 1964
 

In Marrakech, Stella makes use of vibrant color to explore the optical impact of two hues placed close together. The bands of yellow and orange seem to bend or contract when seen directly next to each other.

Frank Stella, Harran II, 1967
Frank Stella, Close up of Harran II, 1967

Eventually, Stella began to work with more rounded shapes, as in The Protractor Series. Named after an ancient Mesopotamian city in what is now Turkey, Harran II is an early reference by Stella to architectural forms, Michael Auping explains. The first artist to use day glow and fluorescent paints, Stella worked with forms based on the shape of a protractor. The colored circles appear to roll through static squares.

Frank Stella, Damascus Gate (stretch version), 1970
 

Color remained important as Stella began to blur the distinction between painting and sculpture. Stella used color to add depth as his work became increasingly three-dimensional.

Stella
Frank Stella, K.144, 2013
 

The artist’s use of color challenged our notion of how color behaves both on the canvas and in sculptural form, drawing connections between painting, architecture and movement. Frank Stella: A Retrospective is on view at San Francisco's de Young Museum through Feb. 26, 2017.

Editor's Note: A version of this blog first appeared on Jill Pilaroscia's website, republished with permission.

ABOUT THE BLOGGER

Jill Pilaroscia

“Life in Color” is co-authored by architectural color consultant Jill Pilaroscia (pictured), BFA, and creative writer Allison Serrell. Pilaroscia’s firm, Colour Studio Inc., is based in San Francisco. A fully accredited member of the International Association of Color Consultants, Pilaroscia writes and lectures widely on the art and science of color.

SEE ALL CONTENT FROM THIS CONTRIUBTOR

   

Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Artists; Color; Color selection; Color trends; Decorative painting; Design

Comment from Marcia Walter, (2/14/2017, 9:22 AM)

Like it! Thanks, Jill ~


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
Digital Facilities Corporation
 
Manage Commercial Roofing Inventories with
FM-Pro
 
FM-Pro™ is designed with a comprehensive roof asset module to inventory and manage Commercial Roofing Systems, including system details, and is suited for building owners, roofing service providers, consultants, and product suppliers.
 

 
International Roofing Expo
 
IRE 2018
 
Attend the IRE where exhibitors and education offer serious solutions, real results and opportunities to make powerful connections. Register for FREE Expo.
 

 
PPG Paints
 
PPG PAINTS™ SPEEDHIDE® INTERIOR LATEX
 
This high-hiding, low-VOC, low-odor paint enables a space to be painted while occupied and delivers the durable product performance professionals require.
 

 
World of Concrete
 
WOC 2018 – Las Vegas, NV
 
Visit the WOC website for more details about the World of Concrete 2018: January 23-26; Seminars 22-26 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, USA.
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@durabilityanddesign.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 

© Copyright 2012-2018, Technology Publishing Co., All rights reserved