1936, Malden, Massachusetts
In 1958, just a few years after graduating from Princeton, Frank Stella began his groundbreaking "black paintings." These austere works were composed of parallel stripes determined by the proportions of the canvas and the width of the paintbrush. They had no meaning beyond their physical form; or, as Stella famously put it, "What you see is what you see."
His subsequent practice, while diverse, has continued his interrogation of abstraction. Paintings based on the rejection of the conventionally rectangular canvas gave way to complex wall reliefs made from paint, cardboard, and felt. He further blurred the distinction between painting and sculpture in baroque works that practically burst off the wall.
Please note that artwork locations are subject to change, and not all works are on view at all times. If you are planning a visit to SFMOMA to see a specific work of art, we suggest you contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm it will be on view.
Only a portion of SFMOMA's collection is currently online, and the information presented here is subject to revision. Please contact us at email@example.com to verify collection holdings and artwork information. If you are interested in receiving a high resolution image of an artwork for educational, scholarly, or publication purposes, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.