Frank Stella: A Retrospective

Oct 30, 2015–Feb 7, 2016

Frank Stella (b. 1936) is one of the most important living American artists. This retrospective is the most comprehensive presentation of Stella’s career to date, showcasing his prolific output from the mid-1950s to the present through approximately 100 works, including paintings, reliefs, maquettes, sculptures, and drawings. Co-organized by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Whitney, this exhibition features Stella’s best-known works alongside rarely seen examples drawn from collections around the world. Accompanied by a scholarly publication, the exhibition fills the Whitney's entire fifth floor, an 18,000-square-foot gallery that is the Museum’s largest space for temporary exhibitions.

Frank Stella: A Retrospective is organized by Michael Auping, chief curator, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, in association with Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and with the assistance of Carrie Springer, assistant curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Frank Stella: A Retrospective is jointly organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

In New York, the exhibition is sponsored by

Significant support is provided by

Major support is provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston; Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation; Julia W. Dayton; Pamella and Daniel DeVos; Katherine Farley and Jerry Speyer; the Fisher Family; The Marc Haas Foundation, Inc.; the Henry Luce Foundation; Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker; the National Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art; and an anonymous donor.

Generous support is provided by The Broad Art Foundation, Peter and Betsy Currie, Theodor and Isabella Dalenson, Marcia Dunn and Jonathan Sobel, Louis G. Elson, Ann and Graham Gund, Marguerite Steed Hoffman, Barbara and Tom Israel, Martin Z. Margulies, Scott Mead, Kenneth & Marabeth Tyler, Melissa Vail and Norman Selby, the Bagley and Virginia Wright Foundation, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Additional support is provided by Irma and Norman Braman; Audrey and David Mirvish; the National Endowment for the Arts; Emily Rauh Pulitzer; Paul J. Schupf Lifetime Trust, Gregory O. Koerner Trustee; and anonymous donors.

Significant endowment support is also provided by Lise and Michael Evans, Sueyun and Gene Locks, and the Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation.

The installation of Wooden Star I (2014) and Black Star (2014) on the fifth-floor outdoor gallery is made possible by Marianne Boesky Gallery and Dominique Lévy Gallery.


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Audio guides

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.

View guide

Exhibition Catalogue

This landmark catalogue presents a retrospective study of Frank Stella, one of the most important figures in 20th-century American art. Showcasing works from all of his major series, the book surveys the full sweep of Stella’s career, from his artistic beginnings in high school and college to today. 

An essay by Michael Auping titled “The Phenomenology of Frank: ‘Materiality and Gesture Make Space’” is available to read below. The catalogue also includes essays by Jordan Kantor and Adam D. Weinberg, and an interview with Frank Stella by Laura Owens.

Read an excerpt from the catalogue

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Explore works from this exhibition
in the Whitney's collection

View 14 works

In the News

“Frank Stella is back. His grand, high-spirited, slightly overstuffed retrospective has taken over the fifth and largest exhibition floor of the new Whitney Museum of American Art, where it looks great. ”
The New York Times

"Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Abstraction: Frank Stella Stuns at the Whitney"

"Frank Stella at the Whitney—from Impassive Abstraction to Riotous Baroque"
The Guardian

"The Wide, Wacky World of Frank Stella's Titles"
The Wall Street Journal

"Interstellar: Whitney Musuem toasts Frank Stella with a Retrospective"

"Frank Stella looks back on fifty-five years of making art"
Time Out New York

"Mr. Stella has done more than any other living artist to carry abstract art, the house style of modernism, into the postmodern era."
The New York Times

"Towards a Unified Theory of Frank Stella"
New York Magazine

"American Master: Frank Stella"
Departures Magazine

"No artist of his generation has been remotely as productive and creative as Frank Stella."

"One of the most important living U.S. artists"
The Wall Street Journal

"Frank Stella Gets Candid About His Long Career"

"A champion of pure abstraction...[Frank Stella] is a survivor from a bygone era when artists conceived their mission as a heroic and hermetic pursuit."
The Economist