Since his arrival in New York in 1959, Frank Stella (b. 1936, Malden, MA) has been one of the key players in minimalism and post-painterly abstraction and an influential force in the modern art world. His early work, dominated by black paintings and shaped canvases, was followed by monumental geometric constructions drenched in Day-Glo colors, known as the Protractor series. The next several decades were spent creating works that challenged the distinction between painting and sculpture, urging viewers to question conventional methods of looking at and analyzing art.
Stella believes that paintings are merely just flat surfaces with paint applied to them, emphasizing the notion of paintings as objects rather than representations of objects. His strange titles, terms often borrowed from Arab philosophers, Polish synagogues, and chapters of Moby-Dick, taunt the viewer, who searches for some deeper meaning and significance that is ultimately not present.
Arguably one of the most respected artists of the 20th century, Stella continues to push boundaries with his screen-printing. Several museums have exhibited retrospectives of his work, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and most recently, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in 2016. He lives in New York City and works in Rock Tavern, New York.