Inter Stella

Frank Stella gets a monumental retrospective.

Frank Stella

In 1964, a 20-something Frank Stella famously said of his art, “What you see is what you see.” More than a half-century later, with the sweeping“Frank Stella: A Retrospective,”at the Whitney Museum of American Art (October 30 through February 7, 2016),in New York, the American pioneer of minimalist painting stands by his tautology. “When I make my work, I have no way of knowing what the viewer will see,” says Stella, 79. “You have to learn to live with that.” Beginning in the period prior to his signature “Black” paintings, massive canvases covered in black house paint in thinly separated stripes, the exhibition will showcase the breadth of Stella’s creative output as he transitioned from abstraction to minimalism and sculpture. His ability to make the darkest shadesseem bright, his explosive color palette, his riotous forms, and his marriage of sculpture and painting are just some of the hallmarks of this brilliant, still ongoing career.

Eskimo Curlew, 1976. Courtesy of Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon.