Frank Stella (b. 1936) is an American artist best known for his use of geometric patterns and shapes in creating both paintings and sculptures. Arguably one of the most influential living American artists, Stella’s works utilize the formal properties of shape, color, and composition to explore non-literary narratives. “Abstraction didn't have to be limited to a kind of rectilinear geometry or even a simple curve geometry. It could have a geometry that had a narrative impact. In other words, you could tell a story with the shapes,” he explained. “It wouldn't be a literal story, but the shapes and the interaction of the shapes and colors would give you a narrative sense. You could have a sense of an abstract piece flowing along and being part of an action or activity.”
Born in Malden, MA, Stella studied history at Princeton University before he moved to New York in 1958. Stella was inspired by the work of Jasper Johns and that is what influenced Stella’s Black Paintings of 1958-1960 and is involvement with Minimalism. Through the following decades, Stella gained traction in the art world and in 1970 he became the youngest artist ever to be granted a solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art. Today, Stella’s works are held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Kunstmuseum Basel, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Tate Gallery in London, among others.