Celebration of Frank Stella in Fort Worth, Texas

Posted on September 16, 2016 by Martin Oaks under Uncategorized
1 Comment

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Here at Martin Oaks Cemetery & Crematory in Lewisville, Texas, our prime focus is appropriate final disposition. The funeral directors who work with us offer affordable cremation, burial, as well as any type of memorial service the clients’ requests.

We are proud to serve the Dallas/Fort Worth area – and also proud of the many amenities this community has to offer. Today, we salute The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth for the spectacular Frank Stella retrospective that will conclude this weekend.

Co-organized by The Modern and The Whitney Museum in New York, this Frank Stella gala features a complete survey of more than 50 years of his work. Local critics have dubbed it the best museum show at The Modern in the last quarter century.


With a solid academic background in art at Phillips Academy and Princeton University, Frank captivated the New York gallery scene in the late 1950’s with his famous Black Paintings. These innovative works eventually gave way to a wider range of colors on shaped canvases in the 1960’s. Almost instantly his talent was hailed, both here and abroad. These were the heady days of Abstract expressionism; a period, which Stella, through redefinition, pursued a fresh trajectory.

The first Frank Stella work I ever saw in person was in the 1960’s at the Art Institute of Chicago. The Stella piece had just been purchased: it was on display in the lobby of the Art Institute (pictured above — please keep in mind the pictures on this blog do not capture the immense size or scale of any of these masterpieces). What a glory! Part of the “Running V” series, it was done in brass metallic paint, creating not only a geometrically colorful image, but also one of focus, intensity and passion. I was just a teenager, didn’t know anything about art, but was positively transported by the impact it had on me. Luckily, I had two aunts who were inclined to the arts – they spent that better part of a half an hour explaining to me exactly what was eliciting my response. It has been my experience that this kind of a thoughtful discussion between a respected adult authority figure and an engaged young person has the capability of creating a deep, lifelong interest. In my case, the interest has never diminished.

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The two early minimalist periods of Frank Stella’s work, which came along shortly thereafter, were the Concentric Squares (shown above) and the Protractor series (shown below). While retaining the acute geometric foundation, Stella’s work gained a lively, yet still contained energy. These works balance an emotional coolness with an almost obsessive, slightly below the surface, feeling of contention.

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Following these final forays in minimalism, Stella’s work eventually exploded off the wall. Tightly wound geometric pieces erupted into a phantasmagoric combination of color, shape and size. In retrospect this was a natural development, but at the time it was controversial. The Wall Reliefs have taken on a sculptural life of their own, many of which defy description, at least by me. Pictured below are two examples of where Stella’s work has been going for the last 30 years.

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Included in the most prestigious collections in the world, Stella pieces can be found everywhere from museums to private hands, the list being far too lengthy to be enumerated here. He has had two solo retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and one at The Whitney (which is the show that has been transferred to Fort Worth), the only such living artist to ever be accorded such honors.

It is a privilege to have the opportunity to see this array of Frank Stella’s work in Fort Worth: if you are in the area, please do yourself a favor and take the time to go absorb it.

Here is a couple of final treats from Frank Stella:

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If you are interested in the services of Martin Oaks Cemetery & Crematory, please do not hesitate to call us at (469) 605-7215 24/7. Please check out our website www.martinoakscemeteryandcrematory.com

One thought on “Celebration of Frank Stella in Fort Worth, Texas

  1. Joe Lambright says:

    Very interesting blog post. Do you recommend any particular books for those interested in learning more about Stella and his art?

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