Frank Stella b. 1936

Frank Stella is a key figure in postwar American modernism. Born in 1936 in a suburb of Boston, he attended the Phillips Academy where he was introduced to the work of Josef Albers and Hans Hoffman. In 1958, after graduating from Princeton with a degree in history, he moved to New York and worked as a house painter without intent to become an artist–his interest was solely in creation.

Shortly thereafter, while operating from a rented studio shared with artist Carl Andre, Stella was introduced to and later represented by dealer Leo Castelli. Inspired by the Abstract Expressionist movement, but in a departure from the period, he produced the Black Paintings series. His work emphasized a two-dimensional, flat application of monochromatic paint. At age 25, he exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and his work during this time gave way to the Minimalist movement that followed.