A Sneak Peek Of Frank Stella's Retrospective Exhibition At the Whitney In New York

On October 30th Frank Stella’s major retrospective opens at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. The survey marks the first retrospective at the new location and encompasses around 120 works from mid 1950’s to the The entire fifth floor has been taken over by Stella’s large-scale paintings and sculptures, divided by floating walls that mark the different stages in the artist’s career. The 18,000-square-foot gallery is set up as a timeline that starts with Stella’s iconic work Die Fahne Hoch!, from 1959, with which the artist , 23 at the time, marked his rebellion against the strict limitations of Abstract Expressionism. The retrospective impressively manages to reconstruct the different stages in Stella’s practice, emphasizing especially lesser-known pieces made between the 1980’s and 2000’s. It is in this way that the artist’s natural progression into sculptural works unfolds for the visitor, as well as giving a clear understanding of why Stella continuous to call his work paintings. The metal structures, embedded with 3-D printed elements, tower seemingly weightless from the gallery walls and are reminiscent of canvases packed and layered with paint as in the case of “At Sainte Luce!”. It is in these moments that Stella’s personality and unwillingness to confirm to rigid definitions shines through. Frank Stella: A Retrospective will open tomorrow and run until February 7, 2017 at the Whitney, 99 Gansevoort Street New York, NY. photographs and text by Adriana Pauly