Among the myriad of forms that have appeared in Frank Stella’s work, the star is the most singular, standing out as a stable and immediately identifiable shape in the midst of the complex tangle of abstract, invented forms that the artist has utilized over his long career. One can argue, however, that the star, although recognizable, is one of the ultimate abstract forms, since its many manifestations are based on theoretical geometry. The historical arc of Stella’s use of the form travels from minimal (the early star paintings) to the maximal, with the recent star sculptures frequently exhibiting a corruption of the form as well as a wild diversity of materials and fabrication techniques, including welded aluminum and steel, carbon fiber, rapid prototyped plastics, and even the inclusion of found objects. Also, the obvious should be noted: “Stella” is star in Latin, and although the artist is reticent to elaborate on specific meanings ascribed to his work, the star has increasingly become a well of inspiration that hints at autobiographic origins. Frank Stella’s Stars will be presented both indoors and outdoors, with several monumental works being sited in The Aldrich’s Sculpture Garden.
Curated by Richard Klein, Exhibitions Director, and Amy Smith-Stewart, Senior Curator.