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Frank Stella, leading American artist, dies at 87: reports

By Agence France-Presse Published May 05, 2024 9:20 am

Frank Stella, an American painter who became a dominant figure in postwar American art, notably with early minimalist works, has died at age 87, US media reported on Saturday. 

Stella died in his Manhattan home from lymphoma, The New York Times reported.

Stella launched his career making spare paintings, some not intended to offer viewers any visual stimulation and little color, a stark contrast to abstract expressionism of the era.

His early work included a series of "pin stripe" paintings—large works with precise black lines on blank canvas—which created a furor in the US art world.

Stella was recognized as a major US artist before he turned 25, and continued his career over six decades.

He objected to critics' demands that he interpret his work with the oft-quoted phrase: "What you see is what you see." 

Stella later explored color and form, occasionally making irregular shaped paintings with geometric patterns.

Stella turned increasingly to three-dimensional works in the 1970s and 1980s, incorporating aluminum and fiberglass into his pieces, eventually turning to freestanding sculptures for public spaces.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York offered retrospectives of his work in 1970 and again in 1987. (AFP)