Frank Stella:
A Retrospective
Audio Guide Playlist

This audio guide features a selection of Frank Stella's works in Frank Stella: A Retrospective with commentary by Stella himself, along with scholars, writers, artists, and curators.


Adam Weinberg: Raft of the Medusa is a sculptural work that is actually very painterly in many ways, because although it's hard to believe, it actually is more related to what he did early on in the Black Paintings than you might think.

Narrator: Please take a moment to walk around the work, and see it in its entirety.

Adam Weinberg: First of all, you have the grid‑like structure that holds the more fluid qualities of the junk‑like material that floats on the surface of this. He is really playing with the idea of a front of a picture and the back of it.

He calls it Raft of the Medusa which is named after a very famous painting by Théodore Gericault, the French painter called Raft of the Medusa with these figures that has very dramatic space where the figures are falling off or clinging to this raft for dear life. There is a sense that this piece that the molten metal and wire is clinging to that grid for dear life. It's as if things are falling off, exploding, hanging on to what might be seen as the raft which is that rectilinear structure behind it.

Most people would call this a sculpture, but in many respects, this is still painting for Frank. This is really about using three‑dimensional form for almost two‑dimensional purpose. He's very interested in the surfaces, the light, and reflection, and the idea that these elements though then spring forward, and yet stay clinging to the raft of the grid.


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