Ctesiphon III by Frank Stella

Ctesiphon III by Frank Stella
Ctesiphon III by Frank Stella

American artist Frank Stella born in 1936 burst onto the art scene with his first works based on completely symmetrical lines and shapes, such as Arriba la bandera. Some creations created from mathematical formulations, and with which he intended to eliminate the variable of personal expression. As well as leaving an image without any symbolism or message, completely contradicting much of the history of painting.


Frank Stella's Ctesiphon III

That break with tradition then took him a little further, and he started creating paintings that weren't paintings. In other words, they had very different shapes from the traditional format with right angles. An example of this is this creation titledCtesiphon IIIthat he made in 1968 and that is currently exhibited in theLudwig Museumof the German city fromColony.

In this way the peculiar shape of the canvas became part of his own work of art. Like whether it was one piece or several, since it is usual for these works to be fragmented, as is the case here. And even the Roman numbering of III does not allude to the fact that it was the third image that Ctesiphon titled, but that it was a personal code in which the III refers to a fan shape, while the I was an interlacing or the II related it to the rainbow.

And it is that regarding his previous production, the works that he did in theThe 60s were full of color, as we can also see here. While another feature is the large size of his canvases, in this case occupying a total of about 18 square meters.

In them he created geometric strips of acrylic paint, always in very bright tones, and without mixing each other. In other words, they are perfectly delimited stripes and without any fusion between the flat colors. And to that he manages to incorporate the dynamism by the position of the stripes and the shape of the canvases, since the curved layouts seem to evoke turns, turns that are infinite and somehow faster and faster.

But deep down, Frank Stella didn't want us to see strange things in his paintings, nor did he seek the viewer's interpretation. He himself said that they were nothing more than objects, and everything they were could be seen with the naked eye. Without philosophical questions, or evocations, or anything like that. In short, he began as an inspiration for minimalism with his first paintings of black and white bands, and the truth is that his artistic approaches never strayed too far from those ideas, no matter how much to give them more color or vary their shapes.

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