Frank Stella, Tuftonboro, 1974, Signed, 8 color lithograph and screenprint, Edition 100, 17 1/4" x 22 1/4" Sheet Size,
Frank Stella is an American painter and printmaker. Born in 1936 in Massachusetts, Stella attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, MA where he studied art history and painting. He continued his studies at Princeton University, studying under art historian William Seitz. Following graduation in 1958, he moved to New York City, and achieved almost immediate fame as an artist. Stella's Black Paintings (1959-1960) turned Abstract Expressionism on its head; the cool, impersonal black lines on white canvas were a catalyst for the emerging Minimalist movement of the 1960s. Unlike Abstract Expressionism of the 1940s and 1950s, which thrived on passionate expression of the anxiety and trauma of postwar society, Minimalism emphasized a detachment from any type of symbolism. Throughout the 1960s, Stella continued to experiment with composition and medium; in the mid 1960s he began working exclusively with master printer Kenneth Tyler of Gemini G.E.L, who later established Tyler Graphics LTD. In the 1970s, work took a drastic turn away from minimalism. Although his early work is easily identifiable as minimalism, Stella never considered himself a strict follower of the style. His work during the 1970s evolved from the restrained aesthetic of somber geometric shapes to a baroque-like exuberance of curving lines, neon colors, and scrawling brushstrokes. He also began experimenting more with printmaking, combing several techniques for one piece. The work that Stella produced during the 1970s had a decisive influence on his later work, and still does today.