Monday, November 02, 2015

At the Frank Stella show.

This is a bold impressive and beautiful retro that for many will be the show to see this Fall. Sprawling and falling all over the huge 5th floor galleries of the New Whitney it's both theatrical and industrial, aggressive and gentle . Old pieces including his great stripe and shaped canvases mix it up with newer works and sometimes the exhibition looks like the work of two artists. Stella constantly surprises us with his use of bright sometimes day glo colors twisted forms, shapes and colossal size of most of these works where the backs and sides are sometimes as beautiful and intriguing as the fronts.
There's a lot here to take in, maybe too much, but sometimes too much is ok. Not every thing was to my liking; the last gallery as far as I'm concerned was a bust. The size of the works are still huge, but all the color and dazzle is gone and we are left with big grey mixtures of muck that fail to hold up especially since they share the space with wall to wall windows over looking the downtown town of Manhatttta which pretty much takes over the show, the space and us.
Also in this gallery are several elegant saw horse tables on which dead small pieces are standing on the corner making goo goo eyes at the people who can't afford or don't have the room for the really big pieces. These are not very impressive as sculptures or tchotchkes. Also pushed up against one of the walls is an ugly grey couch that breaks up the space and looks like it belongs in some furniture store on the lower east side and not in a museum gallery. Still this is some show, let me tell you, and I left feeling a little dazed and dizzy by the spectacle of it all but also with an exuberance and gratitude in my heart and soul for my being an artist and for the marvelous gift of Frank Stella.


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