Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Frank Stella

Frank Stella went from minimalist painter to Baroque sculpture in a gradual, incremented fashion over the long years of his carreer (1950s-present). This piece places him in 1967, as he began to explode in his use of colors.
After a long period of looking, I've found two patterns in color choice that are hardly patterns at all:
1. Adjacent colors are on average 120 degrees apart on the color wheel (the difference between any two primary colors).
2. The colors to the top-left of the painting are slightly more vibrant than the colors to the bottom-right.
I've heard that many opposing colors mixed together creates black, but when I squint my eyes at this image or try to mix them in real life, I just get murky brown.
The opposition between the overwhelming variety of color and the strict requirements of the geometry make this piece come to life for me. As I look at it, the circles yearn to come off the page and bloom into acid-trip rainbows much larger than the original container.
I suppose we don't like opposing colors to be next to each other, and Frank Stella is exposing this proclivity in a huge way.

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