I don't like to say I have given my life to art. I prefer to say art has given me my life.

— Frank Stella

The most scandalous Frank Stella quotes that will be huge advantage for your personal development

I was worried in the '80s that the best abstract painting had become obsessed with materiality, and painterly gestures and materiality were up against the wall.

61

What you see is what you see.

59

One learns about painting by looking at and imitating other painters.

I can't stress enough how important it is, if you are interested at all in painting, to look and to look a great deal at painting. There is no other way to find out about painting.

34

But, after all, the aim of art is to create space - space that is not compromised by decoration or illustration, space within which the subjects of painting can live.

34

A sculpture is just a painting cut out and stood up somewhere.

27

I like real art. It's difficult to define 'real' but it is the best word for describing what I like to get out of art and what the best art has. It has the ability to convince you that it's present - that it's there. You could say it's authentic... but real is actually a better word, broad as it may be.

22

No art is any good unless you can feel how it's put together.

By and large it's the eye, the hand and if it's any good, you feel the body. Most of the best stuff seems to be a complete gesture, the totality of the artist's body; you can really lean on it.

21

The one thing I learned is not to say anything about my own paintings.

Keep my mouth shut. You'll never stop hearing what you said. It will come back to you again and again, people will always tell you about it. Even if you were the source of what's wrong with it.

20

Architecture can't fully represent the chaos and turmoil that are part of the human personality, but you need to put some of that turmoil into the architecture, or it isn't real.

20

The aim of art is to create space.

14

As far as I was concerned, with the early paintings, I liked them, I thought they were pretty good, but I didn't think it was the end of the world. I also thought of it as a kind of structure, a base to build on. So this proves I can do this and that, and they don't collapse, so then what can I do from here? How can I build on it?

12

There's a lot of difference between being well known and being notorious and the black paintings didn't make me well known - they made me notorious.

9

About Frank Stella

Quotes 35 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Artist
Birthday October 16

One learns about painting by looking at and imitating other painters.

6

Any artist can't get away from the way the world works, which is that it wants to know what you did, and you're only interested in what you're doing right now.

5

I get cranky real easily. So the honor of it and the wonder of it all and everything has a hard time overcoming the petty annoyances; I mean, that's simply the reality of being alive, I guess.

5

When I'm painting the picture, I'm really painting a picture.

I may have a flat-footed technique, or something like that, but still, to me, the thrill, or the meat of the thing, is the actual painting. I don't get any thrill out of laying it out.

3

The integrity of being an artist for Frank Stella means going into the unknown.

A great artist is somebody who's not scared to reinvent themselves and to start all over again. And some artists do it once, twice, three times in their career. He's done it probably a dozen times or more.

2

I had to find a way to paint abstractly, which is what I wanted to do.

I couldn't forget Wassily Kandinsky and Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian, I mean that was the basis.

2

Once I really started to understand Frank Stella's work and follow it, there's a certain type of invention and playfulness and extreme rigor with which he kept going forward.

2

All I want anyone to get out of my paintings, and all I ever get out of them, is the fact that you can see the whole idea without any confusion…What you see is what you see.

0

I never noticed competing with other generations.

There's competition within your own generation, but that competition is good. Maybe you're annoyed that somebody's getting more money than you are, but what's really annoying is if someone's painting a better painting than you're making. So it's something to think about and work toward and stay focused on.

0

You couldn't forget Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Joan Miro either.

And it had to be, you know, at least as good or better.

0

It's hard to say that my twenties were the most miserable time in my life or that my first wife drove me crazy or that I hated the job that I had. You can say all of those things. But for the most part, people manage to have a good time when they're that age.

0

Up until 35 I had a slightly skewed world view.

I honestly believed everybody in the world wanted to make abstract paintings, and people only became lawyers and doctors and brokers and things because they couldn't make abstract paintings.

0

Scarlatti [Kirkpatrick] started writing sonatas when he was 66 and the idea that he ran off 500 or so after he was 66 was just too much for me to resist. It's just great.

0

I'm more of a house painter.That's the way I work.

0

I want to make exalted art. A successful image has pictorial lift. I am looking for whatever is up there.

0

Making art is complicated because the categories are always changing.

You just have to make your own art, and whatever categories it falls into will come later.

0

You have bits of canvas that are unpainted and you have these thick stretcher bars. So you see that a painting is an object; that it's not a window into something - you're not looking at a landscape, you're not looking at a portrait, but you're looking at a painting. It's basically: A painting is a painting is a painting. And it's what Frank Stella said famously: What you see is what you see.

0

You see what you know!

0

I don't like a lot of the stuff that goes on in the art world, but it's hard to be old and like what goes on around you.

0

I always get into arguments with people who want to retain the old values in painting - the humanistic values that they always find on the canvas. If you pin them down, they always end up asserting that there is something there besides the paint on the canvas. My painting is based on the fact that only what can be seen there is there... What you see is what you see.

0

I think for a lot of artists, if you're lucky enough to have a kind of career, especially toward the end, you start to think about what the whole ensemble looks like. It's the whole that counts. The parts are given, but you don't know how the whole thing's going to look when it's all put together.

0

Abstract paintings must be as real as those created by the 16th century Italians.

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