Frank Stella ‘s unblinking desire to make art that is wholly self-contained and self-referential, allowed his work to pass on to the spectator on a wholly ocular degree. This is grounds that Stella conforms to the modernist Formalist school of art despite being born subsequently in the Twentieth Century than others of the same class. Clearwater ‘s publication, Frank Stella at 2000, ( 2000 ) , explains how Stella ‘s work is self-contained and the manner in which it connects to the spectator. In the publication Frank Stella 1970-1987, ( 1987 ) , Rubin looks farther at how Stella ensures his work remains self-referential. Galenson and Weinberg in the article Age and the Quality of Work, ( 2000 ) , look at how Stella ‘s work was to be interpreted and mentions Stella ‘s work as an progress upon past Formalist creative persons. Finally, the article Frank Stella: Works 1970-1987, ( 1988 ) , by Kingsley, argues that it is impossible for an creative person such as Stella to make work that held no external mentions. Therefore, Kingsley ‘s statement represents an resistance to the strongly formalist readings offered by the other three writers.
Stella ‘s work was described by Fried ( Galenson & A ; Weinberg, 2000, p.767 ) as ‘a important progress ‘ upon the Formalist work of Mondrian due to his formal solutions. Stella ‘s solutions were founded within his intervention of form within the graphics, or more precisely, as the graphics itself. Rubin ( 1978 p.117 ) explains that for Stella, he hoped ‘that the forms are talking to the spectator as forms ‘ , alternatively of ‘imagistic symbols he or others might utilize as verbal comfortss in mentioning to them ‘ . Two strong illustrations of Stella ‘s mentality towards forms and their usage are to be found in Chodorow II ( Fig. 1 ) and Narowla II ( Fig. 2 ) . Galenson and Weinberg ( 2000, p.767 ) quotation mark Stella as stating ‘my picture is based on the fact that merely what can be seen there is there… . What you see is what you see ‘ . Clearwater ( 2000, p.27 ) explains this farther in stating that for Stella ‘s work ‘what you see is how you comprehend what you see ‘ . Harmonizing to these writers, what a spectator sees in Stella ‘s work is merely what has been placed there to be seen, and therefore it can be understood as merely form, coloring material, tone and texture, the cardinal values of Formalism. ‘Die Hielge Cacile Oder dice Gewalt de Musik ( Fig. 3 ) is an first-class illustration of this, whereby the graphics is so overpoweringly unfamiliar, any mention to world is absent, go forthing the spectator unable to understand it through the traditional agencies of symbolism and representation of the existent universe. Without this connexion, the lone available reading for the spectator is in precisely what stands earlier them as a ocular entity, what they see. Once this is understood, the Formalist value of Stella ‘s work becomes clear and the spectator is able to ‘comprehend ‘ the graphics.
One of the most problematic facets of Stella ‘s work is that of its connexion to the outside universe and therefore to himself and his emotional life. As Formalism places minimum value on these connexions and the fact that Frank Stella himself, dismissed these ‘humanistic values ‘ ( Stilez & A ; Selz, cited by Galenson & A ; Weinberg, 2000, p.767 ) , believing of ‘a picture as an object that makes no mention to anything outside itself ‘ ( Clearwater, 2000, p.8 ) , it would look that this connexion should be absent in his work. Stella besides states, as quoted by Galenson and Weinberg ( 2000, p.767 ) that he ‘insisted ‘ that his work did non keep any symbolic significances. Kingsley ( 1988, p.315 ) , nevertheless, argues that it was impossible to deny a connexion between Stella ‘s life and his work during certain periods. Despite Stella ‘s firm denial of this connexion and therefore his entirely modernist Formalist position of art, Kingsley sees that Stella ‘s work did in fact have ties to the events in his life, peculiarly apparent in his connexion to motorsport.
… certainly it is non excessively far fetched to see a connexion between Stella ‘s life at a clip of intense engagement with rushing autos and their drivers, and the explosively disconnected, high-impacted expression of Stella ‘s work after the seventiess. ( Kingsley, p.315 )
Kingsley ‘s quotation mark is associating to the contrast in ocular manner between pre-1975 plants such as the antecedently mentioned Norowla II ( Fig. 1 ) in 1971 and subsequently plants such as those from his Circuits series, for illustration, Mosport ( Fig. 4 ) in 1982 and Nogaro ( Fig. 5 ) in 1984, which were even named after race paths. This grounds would look to link straight back to Stella ‘s alteration in environment mentioned by Kingsley and dispute Stella ‘s on-going denial of his work missing any external mention. However, it does non contradict his connexion to modernist Formalism. Alternatively, it is a mark that he drew inspiration from his environment in order to make his ocular manner, but remained faithful to his Formalist thrust to avoid ocular symbolism and any other nexus within his work that would hold led the spectator to real-world connexions.
The writers discussed have presented grounds towards multiple common Formalist elements bing within Stella ‘s work. Clearwater, Rubin and Weinberg and Galenson, all see Stella ‘s work as self-contained and self-referential. Clearwater and Rubin both province that his work was based around the thought of graphics ‘s value being contained within what the spectator could see before them in the work itself. It is merely Kingsley that presents the statement of Stella ‘s ocular manner linking to his emotional life. While this would travel against Formalist values, it does non take his work off from modernist Formalism itself, it merely helps to explicate a alteration in ocular manner. The kernel of what Formalism represents, a complete focal point on the ocular merchandise as a self-contained entity, is seen throughout Stella ‘s work and his rules of art. This is apparent through his exclusion of the recognizable and symbolic, usage of forms as a agency of specifying a picture and the actual attack he took to a work ‘s ocular value.
Clearwater B, 2000, Frank Stella – at Two Thousand – Changing The Rules, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
Cooke, L, 1987, ‘Working Space by Frank Stella ‘ , The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 129, No. 1009, p.258, viewed 8th March 2010 via JSTOR database.
Galenson, D & A ; Weinberg, B, 2000, Age and the Quality of Work: The Case of Modern American Painters, The Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 108, No. 4, pp. 761-777, viewed 9th March 2010 via JSTOR database.
Gibbs, M, 1972, ‘Albers and Stella ‘ , Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University, Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 8-11, viewed 11th March 2010 via JSTOR database
Hensbergen, G, 1984, [ untitled ] , The Burlington Magazine, Vol.126, No.971, pp. 100-101, viewed 8th March 2010 via JSTOR database.
Kingsley A, 1988, ‘Frank Stella: Works 1970-1987 ‘ , The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 130, pp. 315-316, viewed 8th March 2010 via JSTOR database.
Quigly, T, 1987, ‘Orthodox Formalism and the Metaphysics of Pictorialism ‘ , The Kenyon Review, New Series, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 146-150, viewed 8th March 2010 via JSTOR database.
Rubin W, 1987, Frank Stella 1970-1987, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Die heilge Cacile Oder dice Gewalt de Musik – Clearwater B, 2000, Frank Stella – at Two Thousand – Changing The Rules, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, p.46
Chodorow II – Rubin W, 1987, Frank Stella 1970-1987, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, p. 1
Narowla II – Rubin W, 1987, Frank Stella 1970-1987, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, p.19
Mosport – Rubin W, 1987, Frank Stella 1970-1987, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, p.99
Nogaro – Rubin W, 1987, Frank Stella 1970-1987, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, p.107