Frank Stella '54
August 23, 2021

Pioneer of Minimalism

Frank Stella ’54 credits the Addison Gallery for early inspiration

As he took art classes in the basement of the Addison and learned from the collections in its galleries, Stella found great inspiration in the museum's environment. Reminiscing about his experiences, he has said, “If a young person walks through a gallery of American painting in 1950 and confronts the work of Copley, Inness, Sargent, Eakins, Remington, Homer, Dove, Hartley, Hofmann, Pollock, and Kline he will want to paint like Hofmann, Pollock, and Kline, admiring Hartley and Dove for the proximity to the former, and acknowledging the rest for their accomplishment and effort in facing the task of art. Looking at what happened and is happening, one has to want to do what is happening. Immediate sources count for a lot.”

What kind of artist would you be if you hadn't come to Phillips Academy?

“I doubt that I would have been an artist…I don’t think it would have happened. It was the work here in the (Addison) gallery, the proximity of painting all the time, every day that inspired me.”

Cantahar from Imaginery Places III
Frank Stella, Cantahar from Imaginery Places III, 1998. Lithograph, screenprint, etching, aquatint and relief on paper, 521⁄2 x 521⁄2 inches. Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA, Tyler Graphics Ltd. 1974-2001 Collection, given in honor of Frank Stella, 2003.44.274. © Frank Stella
Categories: Alumni, Magazine

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