Frank Stella, Averroes, 1960

Frank Stella, Averroes, 1960
Aluminum paint on canvas
H 73-3/16” x W 71-5/8”

Over the course of several decades, Philip Johnson amassed one of the most extensive collections of work by Frank Stella. Fourteen major pieces by Stella spanning the years 1960 to 1990 and representing eleven separate series are found on the Glass House property. Philip Johnson was an avid, early collector of Stella and he donated Astoria1958, a transitional work that preceded the “Black Painting Series” with which Stella emerged on the New York scene in 1959, to the Museum of Modern Art.

Stella was among the first artists of the twentieth century to spend his entire career working within the realm of abstraction. While he began with striped painting distinctive for their internal logic and reductive natures, Stella then moved, in series after series, into increasingly irregular and elaborate structures and progressively improvisational modes of working. Eventually, his works came to assume fully sculptural dimensions. His freestanding, gleaming metal Raft of the Medusa, Part I1990, unfolds dramatically in space; both its title and dynamic form allude to Gericault’s famed painting of 1819.

  • From Artist’s Aluminum series
  • From Artist’s first solo exhibition at Leo Castelli Gallery, 1960
  • Among the Artist’s first shaped canvases
  • First artwork acquired from Leo Castelli Gallery by Philip Johnson at the advice of David Whitney in 1961
  • Originally mounted on masonite; masonite removed and conserved by Daniel Goldreyer, 1967
  • Conserved in-situ by Luca Bonetti, 2007



Related Content

  • Bloomberg Connects

  • Philip Johnson Biography

  • Texture & Transparency: Visual Tours of Philip Johnson’s Glass House

  • Anni Albers