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Exhibition at Charles Riva Collection brings together works from Frank Stella's famous "Polish Village" series
Installation view exhibition Frank Stella, Charles Riva Collection. © Hugard and Vanoverschelde.

BRUSSELS.- For the first time, the Charles Riva collection presents an exhibition dedicated to the American artist Frank Stella. After several retrospectives devoted to him, the art of Frank Stella comes to the collection with his monumental works. The artist’s process is revealed through his “Polish Village” series.

The exhibition brings together works from his famous “Polish Village” series which evoke, through pointed titles, the artist’s interest in topics linked to the Holocaust and the Jewish people, using an abstract vocabulary. The sculptural qualities and colours of Frank Stella’s pieces are brought to light in a minimalist hanging which makes space for his large-scale pieces.

The influence of the geometry of drawing, and interwoven decorative details from the façades of synagogues emerge as a backdrop to the artist’s work. The pieces from this series evoke the loss of the Jewish way of life in Europe. Beyond these seemingly vivid, joyful works, a darker story can be made out. The sense of discomfort arising from the contrast between ostentatious materials and the stories behind the pieces only lends an additional appeal to the work of Frank Stella.

The pieces from the “Polish Village” series make as many references to painting as they do to sculpture, through the execution of these powerful visual compositions, full of materials. Frank Stella mixes a number of techniques – silkscreen printing, gouache, acrylic and blocks of colour to create abstract forms. The surface becomes a playground for the artist who employs great ingenuity in highlighting hollows, full and empty spaces, and laying bare his intentions on a canvas which he creates himself.

The work of Frank Stella is steeped in his own artistic background, but also makes reference to his contact with the New York avant-garde. His works contain traces of the pop, abstract, and expressionist movements.

The exhibition presents an invitation to discover the work of this giant of American art and to look past the frame to discover a story.

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