Frank Stella’s Stars: A Survey
Stars as minimalist and maximalist motif in the art of Frank Stella, from his earliest paintings to his most recent sculptures.
As a painter, sculptor and printmaker, Frank Stella (born 1936) has always paid great attention to geometric lines and patterns in his work, creating pieces that are arrestingly kaleidoscopic in both their form and content with bold lines and shaped canvases. This catalog, published for his 2020 exhibition at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, focuses in particular on the enduring use of star shapes in Stella’s oeuvre.
Stella’s depictions of stars range from the minimalism of his early career, with lithograph prints of brightly colored polygonal patterns, to the maximalism of his more recent work seen in his towering angular sculptures made from stainless steel. Although he is well aware that his last name is the Latin word for star, Stella maintains that his fixation on the shape is inspired by its form and the endless possibilities that accompany the star, rather than its etymology. Both instantly recognizable and infinitely abstract, stars seem like an obvious choice for an artist who has dedicated his life to experimenting with form.
In addition to a plates section of the 60 pieces included in the Aldrich show, this book presents installation shots throughout the museum’s interiors and outdoor gardens, and photographs of the artist’s studio. The curators of the exhibition, Richard Klein and Amy Smith-Stewart, worked closely with Stella on the exhibition installation and contribute major essays that add new dimensions to our understanding of a widely celebrated and influential artist.