Down the Rabbit Hole with Frank Stella

IMG_5419

Frank Stella’s Retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC

 

Frank Stella recently had a retrospective at the Whitney in New York. It was as strange and random and geometric and thoughtful as one would imagine from the prolific artist.

Assaulted with color, line, and unbridled form, the exhibition space evolved from being a standard gallery into a zone that the Mad Hatter himself would feel comfortable occupying. Ranging from nuanced dark painted squares to bursting neon metal sculptures, Stella’s exhibition was diverse and engaging.

To me, what stood out about the exhibition was the way it directed me to contemplate place. Each of the grand pieces consumed me as a viewer, creating a small space within a larger context: the context of the whole exhibition, of the Whitney building, of the city of New York as a whole. The colorful-verging-on-chaotic paintings and sculptures flowed from one to the next – having been curated like a dream – and contrasted the view of the water and the city skyline from the huge fifth floor windows that framed one side of the exhibition space. The geometry of the lines of the pieces met the geometry of the city, despite the stark contrast between the harshness of New York against the whimsy of Stella’s art.

As a viewer caught between two worlds – city and canvas, color and chrome – I could not help but feel like Alice in her moment of free falling-flying down into the rabbit hole, and seeing that everything (but especially place) is just a matter of perspective.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s