In a “retrospective” on Frank Stella’s work at The Whitney Museum, Peter Schjeldahl writes in The New Yorker about the “swagger” of this hugely influential artist. I rarely encounter a human in possession of such lopsided genius, in that Stella’s mastery of the abstract shines a bit more than his talent for the concrete. Yours truly visited the exhibit in question this week, and I must say, Stella is something! But that’s not right. Maybe he is “nothing,” in the sense that abstract impressionist art is most palpable in the ephemeral realm of the mind?
Pardon me while I adjust my monacle.
Stella’s “black paintings,” for example, are wonderfully puzzling creations that meld texture with form and shape. They aren’t really black. Nor are they paintings. So what are they then, you ask? I will tell you. They are art. That is all. Magnifique.
At one point during my stroll through the Whitney, I accidentally passed between a lady photographer and the subject of her gaze – one of Stella’s creations. She hissed at me irritably and lowered her lens until I moved out of the way. I dare say that I was not used to this sort of treatment, particularly not from a photographer. At that moment I perceived that Frank Stella was truly important.
I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on Msr. Stella and his wonderfully-inscrutable works. Tweet me your thoughts @. The seventh human being to do so wins an autographed copy of a sheaf of oak bark from yours truly.