Artist of the week: Frank Stella

Painting: 1966 Moultonville IV, Tuftonboro III

“I don't like to say I have given my life to art. I prefer to say art has given me my life” 

Frank Stella, born 1936, is an American artist who has been considerably honoured for his works. Stella, a painter, printmaker and sculptor, is well known for his abstract and minimalist style and the way he pushes the boundaries of space. Stella is still alive today and continues to make art.

Stella’s artistic career began in university where he took night classes in painting and drawing. He admired and was heavily influenced by the Abstract Expressionists of the 1950’s and he attributes becoming an artist to the likes of Rothko and de Kooning. When Stella started exhibiting his pieces, critics called his work boring, but this did not bother Stella, in fact in an interview he said “the attention probably cemented my early career”.

One of Stella’s most famous series of work is ‘Irregular Polygons’ which consists of 44 canvases made up of colourful, geometric shapes. The series took him 2 years to complete. The canvases are asymmetrically shaped and are named after towns in New Hampshire according to different memories Stella has of these places. Even though the pieces are asymmetrical, Stella tried to ensure that they have a sense of equilibrium. Stella believes that equilibrium is important and he wanted the different parts of the pieces to move together and flow with one another. There is a deliberate science behind Stella’s work in that he used the shapes and the colours to draw the audience in and spend time thinking about what they are seeing.

Stella has had a long career and although his style has changed and developed throughout the years, his work has never lost its avant-garde feel. Stella’s work has been exhibited in several museums and his style has influenced many artists that came after him. Stella has even dabbled in architecture showing that his talent extends into all types of spaces.

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BrainyQuote. [Internet]. N.d. Frank Stella Quotes. The website. Available from: [Accessed 2 July 2014]
Glenn, C.W. [Internet]. 2009. The Collection | Frank Stella. The website. Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2014]
Lane, T. [Internet]. 2011. The Art of Geometry: ‘Irregular Polygons’ by Frank Stella go on display Friday. The website. Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2014]
Sooke, A. [Internet]. 2011. Frank Stella interview: the bigger picture. The website. Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2014]

Kenna, S. [Accessed 2 July 2014]
Zibert, M. [Accessed 2 July 2014]
Sloman, S. Accessed 3 July 2014]