Everson Museum of Art Opens “Bradley Walker Tomlin: A Retrospective,” a Major Retrospective Exhibition of the Syracuse Native

The Everson Museum of Art, in partnership with the Dorsky Museum, presents the first retrospective of American painter Bradley Walker Tomlin (1899-1953)

bradley-walker-tomlin-as-they-walked-along-together-1921-pencil-ink-and-gouache-on-paper-14-in-x-1-%c2%bc-in-everson-museum-of-art-gift-of-isabelle-mcconnel

Bradley Walker Tomlin, As They Walked Along Together, 1921 Pencil, ink, and gouache on paper, 14 in x 1 ¼ in. Everson Museum of Art Gift of Isabelle McConnel

since 1975. This major exhibition, including more than 40 paintings, works on paper, and printed materials, charts Tomlin’s development from Art Nouveau illustrations of the 1920s to large-scale Abstract Expressionist paintings of the 1950s, for which he is best known. Bradley Walker Tomlin: A Retrospective will be on view February 11 May 14, 2017. The exhibition originated at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, the State University of New York at New Paltz and is accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalog.

Born in Syracuse, NY in 1899 and active in New York City and Woodstock, Tomlin bridged two generations and participated in the evolution of American art from local modernism to international avant-garde. 

He participated in the famous ‘’Ninth Street Show.’’ According to John I. H. Baur, Curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art, “Tomlin’s life and his work were marked by a persistent, restless striving toward perfection, in a truly classical sense of the word, towards that “inner logic” of form which would produce a total harmony, an unalterable rightness, a

photograph-by-eugene-reynal

Bradley Walker Tomlin. Photograph by Eugene Reynal

sense of miraculous completion…It was only during the last five years of his life that the goal was fully reached, and his art flowered with a sure strength and authority”.

Organized chronologically, Bradley Walker Tomlin: A Retrospective considers Tomlin’s accomplishments as an illustrator, educator, and modern painter as equally significant. Highlights include original cover designs for Condé Nast’s House & Garden magazine, decorative still life paintings, Cubist-Surrealist compositions, and major Abstract Expressionist canvases. Photographs of Tomlin and his professional peers and related archival materials reveal the artist’s contexts and influences.

A century ago, Syracuse native Bradley Walker Tomlin was considered one of the city’s most promising young artists. This exhibition not only serves to restore attention to a hometown talent but more importantly, to shed new light on a fascinating yet overlooked figure in the history of modern American art,” says Elizabeth Dunbar, Director, and CEO of the Everson Museum of Art Continue reading

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The Whitney To Open On A Pay-What-You-Wish Basis On January 20 With Special Programming

This coming Friday, Inauguration Day, with the installation of the 45th President of the United States, is either the beginning of a bright new day in America or the beginning of bad things for the next eight years. If you believe it to be the latter, then you will simply have to find something else to do or somewhere else to be.screen-shot-2013-05-15-at-1-37

On Friday, the Whitney Museum of American Art will open from 10:30 am to 10 pm on a pay-what-you-wish basis. Throughout the day, the Museum will offer special programs that affirm its commitment to open dialogue, civic engagement, and the diversity of American art and culture. Events will include “My America” guided tours; a speak-out convened by the arts collective Occupy Museums; and open discussions moderated by artists, critics and Whitney staff.

My America” Guided Tours

Meet on Floor Seven, 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm, 7 pm, and 8:30 pm

These hour-long tours, led by Whitney Teaching Fellows, will explore the complexity of American identity through the works on view in Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection. Tours meet in the galleries.

Speak Out on Inauguration Day

Susan and John Hess Family Theater, Floor Three; 11 am–2 pm

Artists, writers, and activists will affirm their values in response to the current political climate. Speakers will include Gina Beavers, Chinatown Art Brigade, Aruna D’Souza, Avram Finkelstein, Chitra Ganesh, Guerrilla Girls, Paddy Johnson, Kalup Linzy, Naeem Mohaiemen, Tracie Morris, Uche Nduka, Trace Peterson, Laura Raicovich, Martha Rosler, Mira Schor, Dread Scott, Gregory Sholette, and others to be announced.

This event is organized by Occupy Museums, an arts collective that explores the connections between economics, finance, and the art world. Their work will be included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial.

Open Discussions: America 2017

Hearst Artspace, Floor Three; 3–4 pm, 5–6 pm, and 7–8 pm

Artists, writers, and Whitney curators and educators will lead conversations about art and American identity. These discussions will use artworks to focus on critical contemporary issues, including immigration; race and ethnicity; and inclusive democracy. Visitors are welcome to contribute a short text or image that speaks to their perspectives.

Current Exhibitions includes:

Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 Through February 5, 2017

Virginia Overton: Winter Garden Through February 5, 2017

Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection Through February 12, 2017

MPA: RED IN VIEW Through February 27, 2017

All events are free, and no reservations are necessary. For further information and program updates, visit whitney.org.

The Whitney Installs 142 New Works From Its Collection In Its Portrait Exhibition

Portraits are one of the richest veins of the Whitney’s collection, thanks to the Museum’s longstanding commitment to the figurative tradition, championed by its founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.

shirin-neshat-b-1957-unveiling-1993-from-the-series-women-of-allah-1993-97

New Addition to The Whitney’s ongoing exhibition, Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection: Shirin Neshat (b. 1957), Unveiling, 1993, from the series Women of Allah, 1993–97. Gelatin silver print with ink, 59 3/4 × 39 3/4 in. (151.8 × 101 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Photography Committee 2000.267 © Shirin Neshat; courtesy Gladstone Gallery, N.Y. and Brussels

Drawn entirely from the Museum’s holdings, Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection features 230 works made from 1903 to 2016 by an extraordinary range of some 170 artists, more than half of whom are living. The works included in this exhibition propose diverse and often unconventional ways of representing an individual. Many artists reconsider the pursuit of external likeness—portraiture’s usual objective—within formal or conceptual explorations or reject it altogether. Through their varied takes on the portrait, the artists in Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection demonstrate the vitality of this enduring genre, which serves as a compelling lens through which to view some of the most important social and artistic developments of the past century.

Floor Six of the exhibition predominantly focuses on art since 1960, while Floor Seven includes works from the first half of the twentieth century alongside more contemporary offerings.

Over the past two months, 142 new works have been installed in the exhibition, allowing the inclusion of many artists not on view when the first phase of the show debuted last spring. Organized in eleven thematic sections on two floors of the Museum, with works in all media installed side by side, the exhibition is considerably transformed from its initial installation and will remain on view through February 12, 2017.

Artists newly added to the exhibition include Cory Arcangel, Anne Collier, Grace Hartigan, Josh Kline, Kerry James Marshall, Shirin Neshat, Martha Rosler, Alison Saar, Lucas Samaras, Collier Schorr, John Sonsini, and Jonas Wood, while other artists, including Jasper Johns, Catherine Opie, Charles Ray, Cindy Sherman, and Andy Warhol are represented by different works than before. Many iconic works from the collection by such artists as Alexander Calder, Arshile Gorky, Marsden Hartley, Edward Hopper, Alice Neel, and Georgia O’Keeffe, remain on view. (See complete list of included artists on whitney.org.)

Human Interest is curated by Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, and Dana Miller, former Richard DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Permanent Collection, with Mia Curran, former curatorial assistant; Jennie Goldstein, assistant curator; and Sasha Nicholas, consulting curator.

2017 Whitney Biennial, The First To Take Place In The Museum’s Downtown Building, To Open March 17

The formation of self and the individual’s place in a turbulent society are among the key themes reflected in the work of the artists selected for the 2017 Whitney Biennial, opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art on March 17, 2016 and running through June 11, 2017. Curated by the Whitney’s Nancy and Fred Poses Associate Curator Christopher Y. Lew and independent curator Mia Locks, this will be the first Biennial held in the Whitney’s (still new) home in the Meatpacking District. The country’s preeminent survey of the current state of American art, this is the seventy-eighth in the Museum’s ongoing series of Annuals and Biennials, initiated by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932.unnamed-1

Lew and Locks named the sixty-three participants (see complete list below), whose works will fill two of the four main gallery floors of the Whitney (including the 18,000-square-foot Neil Bluhm Family Galleries on the fifth floor) and numerous other spaces throughout the Museum. The participants range from emerging to well-established individuals and collectives working in painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, film and video, photography, activism, performance, music, and video game design.

Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs, said, “Since we opened our new building, we’ve reignited our emerging artist program with venturesome solo premieres and ‘snapshot’ shows of new tendencies. This Biennial, the largest ever in terms of gallery space, marks the capstone of these efforts. Chris and Mia have done an amazing job scouring the country to discover new talents, while creating lively connections to senior figures and our roiling social landscape.”

Lew commented that, “Throughout our research and travel we’ve been moved by the impassioned discussions we had about recent tumult in society, politics, and the economic system. It’s been unavoidable as we met with artists, fellow curators, writers, and other cultural producers across the United States and beyond.” Locks noted: “Against this backdrop, many of the participating artists are asking probing questions about the self and the social, and where these intersect. How do we think and live through these lenses? How and where do they fall short?

Rothkopf is leading a team of advisors who are working closely with Lew and Locks to help shape the exhibition. They include: Negar Azimi, writer and senior editor at Bidoun, an award-winning publishing, curatorial, and educational initiative with a focus on the Middle East and its diasporas; Gean Moreno, curator of programs at the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami and founder of [NAME] Publications; Aily Nash, co-curator of Projections, the New York Film Festival’s artists’s film and video section, and Film and Media Curator at Basilica Hudson; and Wendy Yao, a publisher and founder of both the exhibition space 356 South Mission Road and Ooga Booga, a shop with two Los Angeles locations that specializes in independent books, music, art, and clothing. Nash, together with the curators, is co-organizing the Biennial film program, which will screen in the Whitney’s third-floor Susan and John Hess Family Theater.

The 2017 Biennial will be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue, designed by Olga Casellas Badillo of San Juan-based Tiguere Corp., which includes essays by the curators as well as Biennial advisors Negar Azimi and Gean Moreno, a conversation between the curators and Scott Rothkopf, and a roundtable with filmmakers moderated by Aily Nash. The book will also feature individual entries on each of the sixty-three participants in the exhibition along with reproductions of their work. It will be published by the Whitney Museum of American Art and distributed by Yale University Press.

The full list of artists are as follows: Continue reading

“Open Plan” Experimental Five-Part Exhibition At The Whitney

Beginning February 26 and running through May 14, 2016, the Whitney Museum of American Art will present Open Plan, an experimental five-part exhibition using the Museum’s dramatic fifth floor as a single open gallery, unobstructed by interior walls. The largest column-free museum exhibition space in New York, the Neil Bluhm Family Galleries measure 18,200 square feet and feature windows with striking views east into the city and west to the Hudson River, making for an expansive and inspiring canvas. Five artists have been invited to present solo projects in response to the space, lasting from a few days to just over two weeks. They include installation and performance artist Andrea Fraser; painter Lucy Dodd; sculptor and earth artist Michael Heizer; jazz composer and performer Cecil Taylor; and video- and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen.The Whitney Logo

The Whitney’s fifth- floor gallery was conceived as an unparalleled exhibition space to inspire artists and curators, as well as our visitors, with its openness and flexibility,” remarks Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator. “To celebrate the end of our inaugural year downtown, we wanted to reveal this space for the first time in its entirety and give artists the opportunity to respond to the site with new projects or to display work from the collection that we couldn’t have previously shown. The featured artists span a broad range of ages, mediums, and approaches, and we’ve asked them to respond to the space with a light touch and without interior construction in order to lend Open Plan a lively and experimental spirit.”

The consecutive parts of the exhibition are scheduled as follows:

OPEN PLAN: ANDREA FRASER

FEB 26–MAR 13, 2016

Andrea Fraser’s (b. 1965) provocative work spans performance, institutional critique, video, and audience engagement. Open Plan: Andrea Fraser will present her site-specific project, Down the River, which uses audio recorded at a correctional facility to bridge the social, cultural, and geographic divide separating museums from correctional facilities. Since the mid-1970s, the United States has seen a parallel boom in museum and prison construction, with some states, such as New York, recently reversing this trend with prison closures. Fraser’s sound installation seeks to reflect on the parts we play in sustaining these disparate institutions.

Public seminars on Down the River occur daily on the third floor: Monday–Friday at 2 pm; Saturdays and Sundays at 1 pm.

Open Plan: Andrea Fraser is organized by Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator Scott Rothkopf and assistant curator Laura Phipps.Lucy Dodd (b. 1981), installation view of Wuv Shack at David Lewis Gallery, 2015. Courtesy the artist and David Lewis Gallery, New York. Photograph by Jenny Kim.

Lucy Dodd (b. 1981), installation view of Wuv Shack at David Lewis Gallery, 2015. Courtesy the artist and David Lewis Gallery, New York. Photograph by Jenny Kim.

OPEN PLAN: LUCY DODD

MAR 17–MAR 20, 2016

Lucy Dodd (b. 1981) turns the gallery into a site of artistic exploration and live action for her Open Plan presentation. Before the exhibition opens to the public, Dodd will create a new large-scale painting utilizing unusual materials like fermented walnuts, kombucha scoby, hematite, yerba mate, and pigments she has collected in her travels. The new painting will be surrounded by recently made shaped canvases that are intended to evoke sails or waves and respond to the gallery’s river views. By bringing her studio activities into the gallery and inviting musicians to perform, Dodd fosters what she calls “a space of ritual action and improvisation demanding a longer and broader engagement on the part of the audience.”

Open Plan: Lucy Dodd is organized by associate curator Christopher Y. Lew.96.137_heizerm.artist_preferred.v1_2340

Photo Credit: Michael Heizer (b. 1944), Actual Size: Munich Rotary, 1970. Six custom made aluminum projectors with steel stands and six black and white slides mounted between glass, Dimensions variable. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Virginia Dwan 96.137. Photograph © Museum Associates/ LACMA, CA

OPEN PLAN: MICHAEL HEIZER

MAR 25–APR 10, 2016

Michael Heizer’s (b. 1944) large-scale earth works have redefined the parameters of sculpture. He will be represented at the Whitney by his 1970 installation, Actual Size: Munich Rotary, a full-scale photographic documentation of the horizon from inside an 18-foot-deep hole that Heizer dug in the earth in Munich, Germany. Comprised of six black-and-white glass slide projections, six custom-made steel projectors, and six steel pipes with wood platforms, this vast projected work re-images the depression as seen from its center. This is the first time this iconic work in the Whitney’s collection will be shown in New York.Cecil Taylor in rehearsal at the Whitney Museum, November 2015.

Cecil Taylor in rehearsal at the Whitney Museum, November 2015.

OPEN PLAN: CECIL TAYLOR

APR 15–APR 24, 2016

Pianist Cecil Taylor (b. 1929) is one of America’s most innovative and uncompromising living musicians. A pioneer of free jazz whose work draws on a myriad of different musical styles conveyed through radical improvisation, he will take up residence in the fifth-floor gallery along with friends and fellow performers. This residency will feature a series of live performances amid a retrospective environment that will include documentation of Taylor’s career, including videos, audio, notational scores, photographs, poetry, and other ephemera.

Open Plan: Cecil Taylor is organized by curator and curator of performance Jay Sanders and Lawrence Kumpf, artistic director, ISSUE Project Room, with senior curatorial assistant Greta Hartenstein and Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow Lauren Rosati.Steve McQueen (b. 1969), ​End Credits, 2012. Sequence of digitally scanned files, sound, continuous projection

Steve McQueen (b. 1969), ​End Credits, 2012. Sequence of digitally scanned files, sound, continuous projection

OPEN PLAN: STEVE MCQUEEN

APR 29–MAY 14, 2016

Steve McQueen (b. 1969) is a visual artist and filmmaker, whose films include Hunger, Shame, and 12 Years a Slave, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. McQueen’s project for Open Plan will center on a newly expanded version of his work End Credits, which presents documents from the FBI file kept on the legendary African-American performer Paul Robeson.

Open Plan: Steve McQueen is organized by Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator Donna De Salvo, with curatorial assistant Christie Mitchell.

Major support for Open Plan is provided by the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation and the National Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Significant support is provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston and Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Generous support is provided by Diane and Adam E. Max. Additional support is provided by Joseph Rosenwald Varet and Esther Kim Varet, and the Performance Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Matana Roberts Presents Red, White And Blue(S), A Sound Quilt Of Sorts, Featuring Her New Year’s Eve Back Room 12TET

Returning to the Whitney Museum of American Art on New Year’s Eve, Matana Roberts will present a one-time performance of red, white and blue(s), a sound quilt of sorts. Robert’s score, which was composed in response to the Whitney’s new building as well as works from its collection, will be performed by the New Year’s Eve Back Room 12tet, an ensemble created particularly for this one-evening-only event. The members of The New Year’s Eve Back Room 12tet are Matana Roberts, alto saxophone, composition, and electronics; Stuart Bogie, clarinet; Jeff Tobias, alto saxophone; Peter Evans, trumpet; Steve Swell, trombone; Mazz Swift, violin; Daniel Levin, cello; Jessica Pavone, viola; Mary Halvorson, guitar; Gabriel Guerrero, piano; Me’Shell NdegéOcello, bass; Tomas Fujiwara, drums; and Helado Negro, wordspeak and electronics. Special guest DJ Rupture will also perform.

Matana Roberts Presents Red, White And Blue(S), A Sound Quilt Of Sorts, Featuring Her New Year’s Eve Back Room 12TET

Matana Roberts Presents Red, White And Blue(S), A Sound Quilt Of Sorts, Featuring Her New Year’s Eve Back Room 12TET

Over the past decade, Roberts has emerged as one of the most innovative cross-disciplinary sound artists of her generation. A dynamic saxophonist, composer, improviser, and mixed media sound conceptualist, her acclaimed artistic practice aims to expose the mystical roots and the intuitive spirit-raising traditions of American creative expression in her music and art. Her innovative work has forged new conceptual approaches to considering narrativity, history, and political expression within improvisatory structures.

For the December 31 performance, Roberts will also draw inspiration from the life and work of Archibald Motley, whose work is currently on view in Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist through January 17, 2016.

Over the last year Roberts has performed throughout the Whitney’s new building in a series of site-specific engagements, including a roving hard-hat concert through the Museum while it was still under construction, an incantation to inaugurate the building’s opening, a live improvisation which engaged Eva Hesse‘s No Title (1969), a daylong improvisational happening, and a week-long open studio residency in the theater. red, white and blue(s) marks the culmination of this series of performances coalescing into a complex, thoughtful and celebratory consideration of contemporary American art and music.

The event runs from 9 pm to 1 am, doors close at 10:30 pm. Tickets, which are available on www.whitney.org, are $50 ($45 for members, students, and seniors). Festive attire is recommended.

The Whitney Museum OF American Art To Debut Frank Stella: A Retrospective, Opening October 30

The most comprehensive career retrospective in the U.S. to date of the work of Frank Stella, co-organized by The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, will debut at the Whitney this fall. Frank Stella: A Retrospective brings together the artist’s best-known works installed alongside lesser known examples to reveal the extraordinary scope and diversity of his nearly sixty-year career. Approximately 100 works, including icons of major museum and private collections, will be shown. Along with paintings, reliefs, sculptures, and prints, a selection of drawings and maquettes have been included to shed light on Stella’s conceptual and material process. Frank Stella: A Retrospective is organized by Michael Auping, Chief Curator, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, in association with Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, with the involvement of Carrie Springer, Assistant Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

The exhibition will be on view at the Whitney from October 30, 2015 through February 7, 2016, and at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth from April 17 through September 4, 2016; it will subsequently travel to the DeYoung Museum, San Francisco. This will be the inaugural special exhibition and the first career retrospective devoted to a living artist in the Whitney’s new downtown home on Gansevoort Street. It will fill the entire 18,000-square-foot fifth floor—the Museum’s largest gallery for temporary exhibitions. Annabelle Selldorf, Selldorf Architects, is doing the exhibition design for the Whitney installation.

A Stella retrospective presents many challenges,” remarks Auping, “given Frank’s need from the beginning of his career to immediately and continually make new work in response to previous series. And he has never been timid about making large, even monumental, works. The result has been an enormous body of work represented by many different series. Our goal has been to summarize without losing the raw texture of his many innovations.”

It’s not merely the length of his career, it is the intensity of his work and his ability to reinvent himself as an artist over and over again over six decades that make his contribution so important,” said Weinberg. “Frank is a radical innovator who has, from the beginning, absorbed the lessons of art history and then remade the world on his own artistic terms. He is a singular American master and we are thrilled to be celebrating his astonishing accomplishment.

Frank Stella.   Die Fahne hoch!,   1959.  Enamel on canvas, 121 5/8 x 72 13/16 in.  Whitney  Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene M. Schwartz and purchase, With funds from the John I.H. Baur Purchase Fund; the Charles and Anita Blatt Fund; Peter M. Brant; B.H. Friedman ; the Gilman Foundation, Inc.; Susan Morse Hilles; The Lauder Foundation;  Frances and Sydney Lewis; the Albert A. List Fund; Philip Morris Incorporated; Sandra Payson;  Mr. and Mrs. Albrecht Saalfied; Mrs. Percy Uris; Warner Communications, Inc. and the National Endowment for the Arts  75.22  © 2014 Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Frank Stella. Die Fahne hoch!, 1959. Enamel on canvas, 121 5/8 x 72 13/16 in.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene M. Schwartz and purchase,
With funds from the John I.H. Baur Purchase Fund; the Charles and Anita Blatt Fund; Peter M. Brant;
B.H. Friedman ; the Gilman Foundation, Inc.; Susan Morse Hilles; The Lauder Foundation;
Frances and Sydney Lewis; the Albert A. List Fund; Philip Morris Incorporated; Sandra Payson;
Mr. and Mrs. Albrecht Saalfied; Mrs. Percy Uris; Warner Communications, Inc. and the National
Endowment for the Arts 75.22 © 2014 Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Born in Malden, Massachusetts, in 1936, Frank Stella attended Phillips Academy, Andover, and then Princeton University, where he studied art history and painting. In college, he produced a number of sophisticated paintings that demonstrated his understanding of the various vocabularies that had brought abstract painting into international prominence. After graduating in 1958, Stella moved to New York and achieved almost immediate fame with his Black Paintings (1958–60), which were included in The Museum of Modern Art’s seminal exhibition Sixteen Americans in 1959–60.

The Leo Castelli Gallery in New York held Stella’s first one-person show in 1962. The Museum of Modern Art, under William Rubin’s stewardship, presented his first retrospective only a few years later, in 1970, when Stella was only thirty-four years old. A second retrospective was held at MoMA in 1987. Since then, Stella has been the subject of countless exhibitions throughout the world, including a major retrospective in Wolfsburg in 2012. Frank Stella: A Retrospective is the first survey of the artist’s career in the U.S. since 1987. He was appointed the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University in 1983. “Working Space,” his provocative lecture series (later published as a book), addresses the issue of pictorial space in postmodern art. Stella has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the 2009 National Medal of Arts and the 2011 Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center, as well as the Isabella and Theodor Dalenson Lifetime Achievement Award from Americans for the Arts (2011) and the National Artist Award at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Aspen (2015).

Frank Stella, Gobba, zoppa e collotorto, 1985. Oil, urethane enamel, fluorescent alkyd, acrylic, and printing ink on etched magnesium and aluminum. 137 x 120 1/8 x 34 3/8 in. (348 x 305 x 87.5 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago; Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Logan Purchase Prize Fund; Ada Turnbull Hertle Endowment 1986.93. © 2015 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Frank Stella, Gobba, zoppa e collotorto, 1985. Oil, urethane enamel, fluorescent alkyd, acrylic, and printing ink on etched magnesium and aluminum. 137 x 120 1/8 x 34 3/8 in. (348 x 305 x 87.5 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago; Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Logan Purchase Prize Fund; Ada Turnbull Hertle Endowment 1986.93. © 2015 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Throughout his career, Stella has challenged the boundaries of painting and accepted notions of style. Though his early work allied him with the emerging minimalist approach, Stella’s style has evolved to become more complex and dynamic over the years as he has continued his investigation into the nature of abstract painting.

Adam Weinberg and Marla Price, Director of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, note in the directors’ foreword to the catalogue, “Abstract art constitutes the major, and in many ways, defining artistic statement of the twentieth century and it remains a strong presence in this century. Many artists have played a role in its development, but there are a few who stand out in terms of both their innovations and perseverance. Frank Stella is one of those. As institutions devoted to the history and continued development of contemporary art, we are honored to present this tribute to one of the greatest abstract painters of our time.

The exhibition begins with rarely seen early works, such as East Broadway(1958), from the collection of Addison Gallery of American Art, which show Stella’s absorption of Abstract Expressionism and predilections for colors and composition that would appear throughout the artist’s career.

Stella’s highly acclaimed Black Paintings follow. Their black stripes executed with enamel house paint were a critical step in the transition from Abstract Expressionism to Minimalism. The exhibition includes such major works as Die Fahne hoch! (1959), a masterpiece from the Whitney’s own collection, and The Marriage of Reason and Squalor II (1959) from The Museum of Modern Art’s collection. A selection of the artist’s Aluminum and Copper Paintings of 1960–61, featuring metallic paint and shaped canvases, further establish Stella’s key role in the development of American Minimalism.

Even with his early success, Stella continued to experiment in order to advance the language of abstraction. The chronological presentation of Stella’s work tracks the artist’s exploration of the relationship between color, structure, and abstract illusionism, beginning with his Benjamin Moore series and Concentric Square Paintings of the early 1960s and 70s—including the masterpiece Jasper’s Dilemma (1962). In his Dartmouth, Notched V, and Running V paintings, Stella combines often shocking color with complex shaped canvases that mirror the increasingly dynamic movement of his painted bands. These were followed by the even more radically shaped Irregular Polygon Paintings, such as Chocorua IV (1966) from the Hood Museum, with internally contrasting geometric forms painted in vibrant fluorescent hues; and the monumental Protractor Paintings, such as Harran II (1967) from the Guggenheim‘s collection, composed of curvilinear forms with complex chromatic variations. Continue reading