Frank Stella, Gobba, zoppa, e collotorto, 1985
Narrator: This painting comes from a series Stella called Cones and Pillars.
Adam Weinberg: The Cones and Pillars series I find particularly fascinating because you have those basic structural forms of cones and pillars which have classical references to them because they remind one, of course, of classical pillars on Greek temples, cones being your basic Archimedes geometric forms.
Yet, what he's doing with them spatially is using them in a very whimsical way. Even though you have the structures of the linear elements, you also have these incredible calligraphic, brightly colored elements which fight against and work against the more structured forms of the cones and pillars themselves.
The combination between what seems to be purposeful and what seems to be random, what seems to be structured and what seems to be disordered is really, really balanced within this work. In a way, it becomes a universe unto itself.
Narrator: Around the time that Stella began the Cones and Pillars series, he was also urging painters to draw inspiration from their medium’s rich history. To hear more about this, please tap your screen.