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Frank Stella: Painting into Architecture

Goldberger, Paul (2007)

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Frank Stella Painting into Architecture

Architectural thought has always informed Frank Stella's work, from the late 1950s when he shared a studio in New York with the architect Richard Meier to his recent stint as a professor at the Yale University School of Architecture. His early paintings, in black, aluminum, and copper paint, were forceful statements of a restrained, minimalist, and architectonic aesthetic. His later, explosive, wall reliefs anticipated the formal vocabulary made famous by Frank Gehry, Daniel Libeskind, and other architects working in an expressionist mode. But since 1989, he has become increasingly consumed with designing structures and conceiving buildings himself.

Even those who have been following Stella's meteoric development over the last fifty years will be surprised by the youthful exuberance of his foray into architecture. None of his projects has yet been built, although he has come tantalizingly close to realizing an addition to a museum in Groningen; a Kunsthalle and garden complex in Dresden; a museum and sculpture park in Buenos Aires; a band shell in Miami; and a gatehouse for a prominent collector.