Crowds would be lining out the door and tickets hard to come by If the current Frank Stella exhibit at the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale was in New York City. It’s a blockbuster that’s not to be missed. Frank Stella: Experiment and Change, spans the 60-year career of this preeminent artist,who emerged as part of a generation of American artists excited by, driven and challenged by Abstract Expressionism.
Frank Stella: Experiment and Change emphasizes the variety of expression found throughout his entire body of work. Close to 300 works dating from the late 50’s including paintings, relief sculpture and drawings trace his trajectory from minimalism (e.g. the geometry of the black paintings) to maximalism (eg. the spatially complex constructionist and large sculptures of the Moby Dick series.). There are even a number of pieces from this year. Curated by Bonnie Clearwater, Director and Chief Curator, Experiment and Change, it leads the museum’s 60th anniversary celebration, on view from now to July 8,2018.
Especially interesting was “Working Archive,” containing material never exhibited before, such as notes, sketches and maquettes that shed light on his growth as an artist. Stella’s diverse interests include art history, architecture, new materials (fluorescent pigment, carbon fiber, titanium, et al.) and computer-aided modeling for rapid prototyping.
Also find penciled color sequences for the larger concentric square paintings (1973), flat foam-core cut-outs leading to the emergence of a more generous “working space” and 3D printed models from the 1990’s through the present outlining the use of digital technology.
The exhibit is part of the museum’s 60th anniversary celebration presented by AutoNation.
There’s also one of the best museum gift shops in South Florida. Besides the usual art books, there’s a selection of handsome silk scarves and handbags, jewelry, cosmetic bags and ceramics that are ideal for one of a kind holiday gifts. You can also have a light bite or beverage in their cafe where the blackboard proclaims, Frank Stella ate here.
We went on a Sunday, taking a leisurely drive, and had lunch enroute. The museum is on Las Olas Boulevard which is packed with good restaurants, so you can make a great day of it.