Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Art, Artists, Painting, People, Geometry, Public, White, World

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/11/27

Frank Stella (born May, 1936)

Back in the past, art was largely the visual embodiment of the concepts of church, aristocracy, or royalty. In contrast, nowadays, new elements are brought into the relation of art and society, particularly, the general public. Contemporary art in all its various expressions fulfills a variety of functions. On the one hand, it provides unlimited opportunities for artists to express themselves and their concerns about the society by highlighting political and social issues. On the other hand, it empowers artists to make the world better. As far as general public is considered, public art appears to be of critical importance, as it enriches public sphere, providing new opportunities for community dialogue, education and employment, and artistic self-expression, at the same time inspiring people’s participation in both appreciation and creation of art. Frequently, public artists remain unknown to the public at large; however, the pieces of art they create amaze people every day, bringing new concepts into understanding of the community. One of the artists, whose works inspire people constantly with their unobtrusive presence, is Frank Stella who devotes himself entirely to the art, bringing into life his creations, which both please the public and turn ordinary places into special ones, thus enhancing the connection between people and their communities (Lippard 210).
As for the peculiar thing of his paintings as well as the sculptures, it is basically the painter’s charm that the viewers can witness while observing the works in aluminium and copper paint; however, subsequently, the artist began to use a wider range of colours in order embroider the works with a new insight of his internal world. Moreover, it is about the lines, composition and context of Stella’s works that make him an outstanding American painter within the area of minimalism as well as post-painterly abstraction. Considering Stella’s approach to producing the paintings, it is worth saying that the lines, relavant to his works, appear to be quite glossy, coherent and flat; Frank Stella is obviously an expert within using the lines; it is about stratified feeling that the painter is interested in. Taking a view at Stella’s paintings, it is possible to become aware that they represent the passing realities of the world as well as the blatant and hidden facts about the spiral of life. Obviously, the paintings predominately appeal to socio-philosophical dimensions.
Analyzing the paiting Swan engraving V, produced by frank Stella in 1984, one cannot but encounter that it has an arrangement of line aimed to dispose the relationship between background and the main figure in painting. There are numerous small figures, which overlap together in the background; once the viewer observes the painting in distance, it becomes vivid that there are some distorted faces, which are shown in gut-wrenching and wry manner in order to evoke some contemplation.
Except using different line to arrange the primary and secondary layers in painting, Frank Stella enjoys to add geometry shape in the same way. The characteristic can be clearly found in his geometric variations (Fig.2). It is necessary to sketch the geometry shape as the contours line of main things in this painting in order to protrude it. Consequently, even though the background and other key elements were all painted by tangled line, the main subject, painted by geometry contour line, can be easily seen.
Considering Stella’s works, it becomes apparent that artist appears to be rather skilful in terms of improving the characteristic of using geometry shape as the character’s contour line in order to separate the character and background. Frank Stella produced a variety of symmetrical patterns, which were often used as the major focus. In fact, there are also some geometry shapes in the first two paintings, which have only relatively weak visual effect. For instance, in Fig.1, the things are largely unnoticeable once certain viewers decide to look at the painting halfheartedly. Frank Stella always put the key object in the middle part of his painting; furthermore, they take an advantage of geometry contour line; as a result, the artist istargeted on emphasizing the chaotic environment via geometric approach.
Leaving an empty space in painting is not just a kind of knowledge, but also a special artform. One should take into account that leaving an empty space is considered as an important method to express artistic conception (Bochner 61). It is often questioned how to leave the white space in painting, which would not weaken the visual effect of main thing? Frank Stella often used to be concerned about this issue; he aimd to “form a visual imprint.” (Jones 162) Fig. 3 emerges to be an extremely brown letter T on the bottom of solely white canvas. The white background is very abrupt in picture, since it occurs as extremely bright. Nevertheless, this white geometry shape does not weaken the main character. Analyzing the entity of empty space in the painting, it becomes vivid that the piece of white color aims to endow the work with some sort of rhythmical image. There is not only the dark part, which consists of bushy lines, but also the monotonous white part, possessing some simple lines.
Apart from the marvellous paintings that Frank Stella created, it is also necessary to take into account his sculptures. Stella is constantly developing both his mastery and his style. Being made mostly of metal, his works present wide variety of forms and ideas. They amuse and amaze, provoke thoughts and inspire, reveal the beauty of ordinary places and motivate to respect nature and people around. His usual mediums are murals, sculpture, and steel. They are quite cold in their nature; still, the artist’s works convey outstanding warms and kindness. By his works, Frank Stella tends to enhance the beauty of the world that surrounds him, so that it could be noticed by average people hastening in their everyday affairs. Each of his works leaves no people indifferent, as it is impossible to go by without noticing such beauty and without appreciating it. Although the painter truly does not lack socialization, he still keeps his talents in secret to some extent. But his inner silence makes him much stronger and more authentic in the creative sense. Concerning the essentiality of Frank Stella, one cannot but claim that he is distinctly modern abstract artist paying attention to separating himself from the stereotype of academic artist.
There are certain characteristics that make him distinctly modern artist. First of all, unlike most other artist, he never relates present to the past. The truth is visible to him and he uses his creative capacity to uncover this truth in order to discover something new. He extracts his ideas from modernity and from his vision, but not echoes them in the light of previous historical periods and centuries. When taking a view of the artist’s body of work, one can observe that he possesses all necessary features that separate him from being an academic artist. One more distinctive feature is that Frank Stella appreciates mixing up with people and living trivial life, never being ridiculous. He does not strive to be dominant over the crowd, remaining to be an ordinary individual, pursuing his creative goals. And this is different from most other academic artists who prefer staying alone with the purpose of finding inspiration to produce creative output that is mostly used to express ego and impress crowds. He eyewitnesses his reality and follows his passion and inner inspiration, being not exposed to any academic assumptions and tools.
Stella proves that art has no territory and the immaterial aspects of creation need to inspire us and evoke our feelings in relation to art (Jones 162). Stella is the representative of artistic stream inspired by the beauty of surroundings; obviously, he is constantly moving “away from narrative and toward iconicity.” (Jones 162) To conclude, one should agree that painting is not just a straightforward representation of reality; it also incorporates a profound artistic value from the perspective of its analytical insight. Much has been made to the development of this piece of art. But, in the long, it would be even more promising, since the advent of new technologies and implementation of innovations would allow future artists going far beyond these techniques, finding new methods of creating a sense in painting.

Works Cited

Bochner, Mel. “In the Galleries: Frank Stella,” Arts Magazine 40, no. 7 (May 1966): 61.
Jones, Caroline. Machine in the Studio: Constructing the Post-war American Artist, Chicago
1996, p. 162.
Lippard, Lucy. “Excerpts: Olitski, Criticism and Rejective Art, Stella,” in Lucy Lippard,
Changing: Essays in Art Criticism (New York: Dutton, 1968), p. 210.

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