Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Stellar Show

by Drew Martin

The Frank Stella retrospective at the Whitney is an impressive fifth-floor-gallery-packed show that opens your eyes to a lifetime of his work. I have appreciatively walked by Stellas a few times a day for the past fifteen years in my lobby at work, which could stand in for very similar pieces in this show. Stella’s work moves from precise, flat, minimalist paintings, to high-tech, space-hogging, carbon-fiber sculptures. The in-between is an explosion of colorful, intensively-constructed works that straddle the fields of painting and sculpture. Sometimes they are constructed as sculptures but work as paintings. Other times they are sculptures disguised as paintings. After circling the gallery with a friend last night, she remarked, “I am surprised you aren’t taking pictures.” I happened to have my good camera on me so I circled the gallery again and took up-close shots of the work to detail his mastery of materials.