Stella for star

Frank Stella’s Connections show opening this week marks the first time in 25 years that the groundbreaking artist’s work has been shown in depth in London, and we’re understandably rather excited about it.

Hollis Frampton Frank Stella in Battery Park, New York 1958

Stella’s career has seen him work in media including painting, sculpture and architecture; and the show at London’s Haunch of Venison Gallery will include works spanning form 1958 until the present day.

Frank Stella, Cantahar 1998. Collection of the artist courtesy Haunch of Venison. Photo: John Bodkin

Stella’s first solo exhibition was in the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York in 1960, during a period in which the artist’s preoccupations were with the idea of picture-as-object, moving away from the painterly abstract expressionist movement. Paintings of this time include the black paintings, which saw very thin pinstripes separated by black paint.

Frank Stella, Delta 1958

The late 1960s saw Stella move into printmaking, creating abstract pieces using lithography, screen printing and etching. This period also saw Stella create perhaps his most iconic works, with the use of relief and shaped canvases. The artist dubbed these ‘maximal’ paintings, which later developed further into three-dimensional, free-standing sculptural pieces.

Frank Stella, WWRL 1967

During the 1990s Stella began making sculptural works for public spaces, as well as moving into developing architectural projects, such as the 1997 Stella Project, which forms the centrepiece of the Moores Opera House in Texas’s University of Houston.

Frank Stella, The Marriage of Reason and Squalor, II 1959

Connections will feature preciously unseen minimalist works, and works from major series including the 1960s Irregular Polygon and Protractor Paintings, the Polish Village series and the 1970s and 80s Circuits and Cone and Pillar series. The past 20 years are represented in the huge floor sculptures and imposing metal reliefs.

Connections runs form 30 September – 19 November at the Haunch of Venison Gallery, 6 Burlington Gardens, London W1S 3ET

Latest articles