In the 1950s and 60s Frank Stella was a leading advocate for American artists who were attempting to break with the tradition of European painting that made reference to the world beyond art. Stella wanted to make an art form that was complete in itself, with as little internal division of its form as possible. His early paintings were determined by certain givens, such as the width of the canvas or paintbrush, or the nature of the paint itself. Stella said he wanted to ‘keep the paint as good as it was in the can’. He had a favourite house-painting brush 2¾ inches wide and stretched his canvas over stretcher bars that were also 2¾ inches wide – both determining the width of the stripes painted parallel to the stretcher. This structural premise can be considered as the trigger for American minimalism.
alkyd paint and PVA on canvas
160.0 x 320.5 x 7.7 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of the John Kaldor Family Collection 2017. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Frank Stella/ARS. Licensed by Visopy, Sydney
Shown in 4 exhibitions
(Black and white, group exhibition), Sonnabend, New York, New York, 1970–1970
From Christo and Jeanne-Claude to Jeff Koons: John Kaldor art projects and collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, 12 Dec 1995–17 Mar 1996
Journey to now: John Kaldor art projects and collection, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 18 Apr 2003–06 Jul 2003
Unpainting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 16 Sep 2017–12 Aug 2018
Referenced in 3 publications
Nicholas Baume, From Christo and Jeanne-Claude to Jeff Koons: John Kaldor art projects and collection, Sydney, 1995, 48-49 (illus.), 86.
Anthony Bond, John Kaldor family collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The minimal edge, Frank Stella, Carl Andre, Donald Judd', pg.78-99, Sydney, 2011, 84, 85 (colour illus.), 86-87 (colour illus.). illustration on page 85 is a detail
Adam Free, Journey to now: John Kaldor art projects and collection, Adelaide, 2003, 6 (colour illus.), 61. illustration is an installation view