Marianne Boesky Gallery, in collaboration with Lévy Gorvy, is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by artist Frank Stella. The show will debut seven large-scale sculptures, created in 2017 that highlight Stella’s ongoing engagement with color, shape, and composition through the forms of stars, ribbons, and bow ties. The lustrous, colorful sculptures exude a sense of joy as they activate and engage the surrounding space. Frank Stella will be on view from May 5 through June 17, 2017 at 509 W. 24th Street.
Stella first alluded to the star in the polygonal patterns of his “Dartmouth Paintings” from 1963, which helped spur the Minimalist movement of the 1960s. While Stella continued to make subtle reference to the star in the more complex and varied geometric compositions of his “Protractor” series (1967-1971), it would not become a central theme in his practice until the early 2000s with the “Scarlatti K” works. By this point, Stella had extended his investigations of composition and abstraction into three dimensions, initiating a deeper exploration of how objects behave and are experienced in space. The star appeared repeatedly within the tangle of shapes that comprised the “Scarlatti K” assemblages, contributing to the playful nature of these wall reliefs and freestanding sculptures.
Since 2014, Stella has more directly examined the star motif, creating sculptures that vary in scale from the intimate to the monumental and in material from simple wood to high-gloss chrome. Using digital modeling, Stella explores how subtle changes in scale, texture, color, and material can affect our perception and experience of an object. This ongoing study feels particularly vibrant in Frank Stella, as the sculptures appear on the cusp of motion, seemingly responding and contorting to unseen pressures or tensions around them.
Like Stella’s stars, the ribbon and bow tie forms first entered the artist’s visual lexicon several decades ago, initially appearing as curves in the “Protractor” series. For Stella, the ribbon became an extension of the line, bending and folding onto itself and referencing the gesture of a brushstroke. It formed an essential aspect of his transition in the 1980s to a more expressive artistic approach. Also during this time, Stella began actively combining painting, printmaking, and sculpture, paving the way for the sculptural assemblages and additive constructions for which he has become commonly known in recent years.
Together, the new sculptures featured in Frank Stella offer a dynamic and compelling meditation on Stella’s practice, referring both to pivotal moments in his long and illustrious career and highlighting the significance and vitality of his practice.