new-york

Frank Stella

65 Thompson Street

Frank Stella is a virtual art-historical institution—the last great dinosaur to be consigned a permanent place in the Museum of Modern Art. Supporters as well as detractors treat him as if he were already dead, and the relative lack of development in Stella’s art since the “Polish Village” and “Brazilian” painted relief series of the early to mid ’70s, which initiated his “second career,” confirms the impression of stagnation and closure.

On the evidence of these huge and seriously unpretty new works, Stella may have embarked on career two-and-a-half. Supported by massive steel buttresses, these works give the impression of an explosion in the artist’s studio, one yielding a jagged, chaotic, and distinctly sculptural mess. Though these works are predominantly unpainted—the balance of the painting/sculpture dichotomy that has long animated Stella’s practice seems tipped here toward the latter

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