MUNICH, GERMANY.- American artist Frank Stella attends the opening of an exhibition of his own paintings at Terminus Gallery on October 12, 2004 in Munich, Germany. Frank Stella was born in Malden, MA in 1936 and was introduced to modern art at Phillips Academy in Andover, where he began studying painting. At Princeton University, Stella majored in history but continued to paint, taking art and art history classes with Stephen Greene and William Seitz. While in college, he painted in a style influenced by such Abstract Expressionists as Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler and Franz Kline, but after his move to New York City in 1958, Stella adopted the more methodical approach of Jasper Johns' Flag and Target paintings. Johns' influence is evident in the stripe paintings of this period for which Stella is well-known. The thickness of the stripe paintings' stretcher supports -originally a budgetary decision -inspired Donald Judd and other Minimalists to emphasize the object status of art.
Stella himself went on to explore increasingly higher relief in his paintings until he finally began casting his wall pieces and sculptures in metals. Since the early 1980s, his large public sculptures have fueled his interest in architecture and led to numerous architectural proposals and commissions, including a band shell for the city of Miami. His artistic influence has been felt in art and architecture since his New York debut in the late 1950s, evolving as his interests have evolved.