Frank Stella: Getty Tomb

Topics: Minimalism, Abstract expressionism, Modernism Pages: 4 (561 words) Published: April 29, 2014
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Analysis of ‘Getty Tomb’ by Frank Stella!
Walking through the galleries at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), it was difficult to choose just one piece of art to analyze. However there was one particularly intriguing yet minimalist piece that stood apart from the rest. The piece was called Getty Tomb, by Frank Stella. It was an abstract; nonfigurative square canvas that was methodically covered with a series of flat unmodulated black rectangular bars, separated by thin white lines. After viewing the piece and many others at LACMA, it became clear that something had seemed slightly mysterious in its simplicity about Stella’s "Getty Tomb," and a quest for understanding and analysis of both the artist and work had begun.!

Frank Stella began his career with relative ease at the early age of 23 in New York, After finishing his studies at Princeton University in 1958. By the mid-1960s he was in the forefront of the Post Painterly abstraction group which was comprised of artists who were reacting to the dominance of Abstract Expressionism (Rubin 45). Nonfigurative painting presented itself as the highest of the plastic arts–the most spiritual, philosophical, and pure. Kandinsky, Mondrian, and Roscoe related this in part to the elimination from the picture of references to things of this world (Stiles 6). Frank Stella has seen that total abstraction need not be limited in this manner. While Mondrian had proven that great nonfigurative paintings also had staying power, Stella has shown it can also have range and variety. (Stiles 7)!

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During the late 1950’s, while creating Getty Tomb and also other pieces in his "black series" he felt the work was filling a current void in the abstract art world. He seemed driven by the importance of physicality of this work and the overall flatness of the work created. Through the regulation of the lines and pattern he could create a flatness that he felt was an absolute necessity (in modern painting at that time)....


Cited: Art, 1970. Print.
ropolitan Museum of Art, 2007. Print.
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