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.
Michael Auping: The Protractor Paintings are arguably Frank's best known and most popular paintings. They made abstraction popular with the non‑art public. There are thousands of posters reproduced of Frank's Protractor Paintings.
Narrator: Many of Stella’s contemporaries regarded with horror the possibility that abstract painting might be decorative. But during the 1960s, Stella moved dramatically away from the avant-garde idea that art needed to be difficult to be good. He wanted visual appeal, even beauty. At the same time, he was extremely rigorous in his development of the Protractor series. He produced thirty-one different formats. He began with simple quarter circles and semi-circles, then began making them more complex, one added form at a time. He made three versions of each format, making one where the arcs made a kind of rainbow, one in which they were interlaced, and one―as in this work―where they broke apart into fans.
Michael Auping: The Protractor Paintings, many of which are very large, though today, a lot of artists make large works, it's hard to understand how large these works seemed in the mid and late '60s. I mean, they were gigantic.
- 501 Frank Stella, Das Erdbeben in Chili [N#3] (The Earthquake in Chile), 1999
- 502 Frank Stella, Delta, 1958
- 503 Frank Stella, Die Fahne hoch!, 1959
- 504 Frank Stella, Astoria, 1958
- 505 Frank Stella, Avicenna, 1960
- 506 Frank Stella, Creede I and Creede II, 1961
- 507 Frank Stella, Loomings (S-7, 3X – 1st version), 1986
- 508 Frank Stella, The Whiteness of the Whale (IRS-1, 2X), 1987
- 510 Frank Stella, Harran II, 1967
- 509 Frank Stella, Effingham II, 1966
- 511 Frank Stella, Jasper’s Dilemma, 1962
- 512 Frank Stella, Jarmolince III, 1973
- 513 Frank Stella, Gobba, zoppa, e collotorto, 1985
- 514 Frank Stella, Inaccessible Island Rail, 5.5x, 1976
- 515 Frank Stella, Zeltweg, 1982
- 516 Frank Stella, Eskimo Curlew, 1976
- 519 Frank Stella, Raft of the Medusa (Part I), 1990
- 521 Frank Stella, K.144, 2013
- 500 Introduction to Frank Stella: A Retrospective
- 518 Frank Stella, Damascus Gate (Stretch Variation III), 1970
- 520 Frank Stella, Circus of Pure Feeling for Malevich, 4 Square Circus, 16 parts, 2009
- 522 Frank Stella, K.81 combo (K.37 and K.43) large size, 2009