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The American artist Frank Stella
May 3, 2010 2:38 PM   Subscribe

Inside the studio of American artist Frank Stella: "After I started getting a sense of the space and in the groove of shooting, he asked if I minded if he could take a nap. I continued working as quietly as possible since his bed was in the middle of all the work." The work in progress in his studio, The Stations of the Cross, is a commission from Richard Meier for his proposed Jubilee Church at the Vatican. (via DO)
posted by ocherdraco (16 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
he asked if I minded if he took a nap...

Just like Frank to give away the most important artist secret.
posted by R. Mutt at 2:50 PM on May 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Lordy, I love Stella's work.
The Ferrari in the studio was interesting. I wonder if Frank owns it or if it's there to "inspire" him for a commission?
posted by Thorzdad at 3:02 PM on May 3, 2010


Years ago, when I was in art school, some friends and I discovered that Frank's mother was having an exhibit of her paintings at a local library. We figured... Hey... He has to show up at his mom's exhibit, right? We will get to meet Frank Stella! We arrived, started chugging down the provided wine... and then Frank's mom and her friends arrived. We were speaking with her about her paintings when Frank arrived. Suit and old sneakers - very down to earth. After everyone congratulated Mom on her paintings, Frank Stella came over to us ( "OK guys...") and talked with us for about 15 minutes. Nicest guy in the world, even to a bunch of half wasted art school punks who crashed his mom's opening.
posted by R. Mutt at 3:02 PM on May 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


I might not know art but I know that I like that Ferrari.
posted by digsrus at 3:21 PM on May 3, 2010


I loooove Frank Stella. His piece at the Carnegie in Pittsburgh was my favorite; whenever I needed a mood boost or some comfort after class I'd walk over and sit in front of it for a while. Excellent.
posted by ifjuly at 3:25 PM on May 3, 2010


A few months ago I picked up a 6ftx3ft print of York Factory from the Goodwill. Really fills up the blank space in the kitchen nicely.
posted by wcfields at 3:31 PM on May 3, 2010


Really fills up the blank space in the kitchen nicely.

that maybe the greatest damning with faint praise I've ever heard
posted by criticalbill at 4:08 PM on May 3, 2010


In the 80s Frank Stella did some work with the computer graphics lab where I worked. He made detailed 3D stereographic previews of those large free-form sheet metal constructions with the messy paint jobs.

I got a kick out of the time he parked his Ferrari, and came into the reception area wearing a painter's cap and overalls. The receptionist says to him, "Great. You're here. The big desk in 314 needs to go to room 210. The desk in 210 you can throw away."
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:14 PM on May 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


When I was in college, my school had Frank come do a guest lecture which was pretty interesting, albeit with the traditional talk-about-slides format.

But even cooler was after the lecture, my painting teacher got him to come and do a group critique with the painting students. Half the students, like me, were lower level undergrads so the works we had to show him were assigned projects and not terribly interesting, but Frank still got into it and gave good thoughtful comments. I think I've liked him a lot more since then (mostly just because he liked my close-up painting of my own facial hair).
posted by p3t3 at 5:41 PM on May 3, 2010


Stella, for me, has the greatest collapse, perhaps in art history, in the 70s he was unparralled, and he followed the aesthetic to the logical end, but that end is a complete mess, an intense failure. These photos sort of proved what happened.
posted by PinkMoose at 7:33 PM on May 3, 2010


Stella, for me, has the greatest collapse, perhaps in art history,

Both Frank Stella and Richard Tuttle pitched perfect games as young artists. Once one does that... where do you go? How do you top that?

Well... you can either ride out your idea until it is dead (Jim Dine?), or you turn, get up in the morning and make art... make something different.

Stella could have kept on making black stripe paintings, but he didn't. Good for him, good for us.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:58 PM on May 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


he went from black stripes, to coloured stripes, to shaped canvas, to the mess...the transition b/w shaped and mess is what fascinates.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:25 PM on May 3, 2010


and i still think tuttle is getting better and better
posted by PinkMoose at 8:29 PM on May 3, 2010


the evolution of his work is fascinating. I like all his stuff. As it is with many artists, he has obviously left many of his early admirers behind. These photos prove this has happened.
posted by gigbutt at 4:59 AM on May 4, 2010


I had the opportunity to meet Stella once, when I was in high school (early 80s). He managed to be both kind and completely non-condescending to an awestruck teen, and spent longer talking to me and my mom about shapes and color than I think the event hosts would have preferred.

Thanks for posting this, ocherdraco. The Jubilee Church is such a fascinating building.
posted by catlet at 7:44 AM on May 4, 2010


I love Frank Stella - there's a piece of his in the Hood Museum at Dartmouth that has enchanted me since I was a kid. I remember being six years old and being totally willing to just sit in front of that thing for what seemed like hours. I'm sure it was only ten minutes, but I bet my parents were willing to take any time of me sitting still for what it was worth.

This site? Is there any way to STOP the slideshow and read the text slowly? It's definitely sub-optimal as is.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:35 AM on May 5, 2010


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