Frank Stella:
A Retrospective

Solo en Inglès

Listen to an audio guide highlighting selected works in Frank Stella: A Retrospective with narration by students from PS 33 Chelsea Prep and Whitney Museum educator Mark Joshua Epstein.

Frank Stella (b.1936), _Empress of India_, 1965. Metallic powder in polymer emulsion paint on canvas, 77 x 224 in. (195.6 x 569 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York; gift of S. I. Newhouse, Jr. 474.1978. Digital image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY. . © 2015 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Narrator: This work comes from a group of paintings Stella called the Notched Vs.

Mark Joshua Epstein: It’s as if Frank Stella has taken a letter and made an abstract painting out of a letter. So we see one of these forms is the letter V, standing upright, like we’re used to seeing in the alphabet or in a book, and then he’s playing around with three other forms of the same letter, kind of leaning on the other one, upside down, and sort of, in the same space, making up the composition.

My eye interacts with this painting as if it’s a sentence. I start on the left side and go to the right side and sort of follow it all the way over, kind of starting in that warm brown corner at the top, and then following the lines all the way through ‘til it sort of drops me out at the end on the bottom.

The diagonal lines in this painting are really energetic. They really shoot your eye over to one spot and then over to another spot. And the only kind of horizontal lines we have are really on the top left and the bottom right, and otherwise, even the edges, the side edges, of this painting are diagonal, so they almost shoot you out to another artwork or whatever else might be in the room.

Narrator: In the first room of this exhibition, we saw that Stella wanted to make paintings that were as simple and straightforward as possible. Here he lets things get a little more complicated. In the rest of the exhibition, we’ll see that his work gets a lot more complex!