Painted Surfaces

With the very complexly painted Moby Dick pieces, the original paper sketch makes it much easier to see the underlying form.

Frank Stella, paper sketch for The Dart


Frank Stella, The Dart (D-15 2X) 1990

That the painting on top of the forms works to hide and confuse them, to make it difficult to find some of their edges, supports Stella’s claim that he is still making paintings, not sculpture. It also gives a level of complexity beyond what Vedova achieves in the Plurimi. Of course it is hard to judge what is really going on from a photograph. Later this month I will see two or three in Toronto; it won’t be the first time, but the first time with eyes open. Meanwhile, the orchestration of color—which increasingly seems to be the main rationale for the series—is superior in this piece. A click will give a larger image.

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