Frank Stella, ‘Eccentric Polygon’, 1974, Caviar20

Frank Stella created the series of "Eccentric Polygons" in 1974.

It is one of his last series before he transitions to the exuberant, Baroque-busy, elaborate style that defined his aesthetic to this day.

Not surprisingly, these canvases featured prominently in the recent retrospective at the Whitney Museum (in NYC) which will also tour nationally in 2016.

The "Polygon" paintings were created during 1965-1967, each form was created in four different color combinations. Their curious names, this example is called "Moultonboro", come from small towns and locations in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where Stella and his father would go fishing during his youth.

Aesthetically there is a subtle but significant difference between the canvases and the prints. Like many of Stella's multiples, there is a trompe d'ceil effect; the sections of color appear to have been sketched in with a crayon yet bound in with a sharp outline. The canvases, on the other hand, had dense flat colors.

Many of the works in the "Eccentric Polygon" series have odd or almost confrontational color combinations. "Moultonboro" is a rare exception, the almost neon peach on the left compliments the vibrant tropical blues and grape purple. This palette is upbeat and energized and flatters the dynamism of the composition.

Signature: Signed, numbered and dated 1974 by the artist.

About Frank Stella

Frank Stella, an iconic figure of postwar American art, is considered the most influential painter of a generation that moved beyond Abstract Expressionism toward Minimalism. In his early work, Stella attempted to drain any external meaning or symbolism from painting, reducing his images to geometric form and eliminating illusionistic effects. His goal was to make paintings in which pictorial force came from materiality, not from symbolic meaning. He famously quipped, “What you see is what you see,” a statement that became the unofficial credo of Minimalist practice. In the 1980s and '90s, Stella turned away from Minimalism, adopting a more additive approach for a series of twisting, monumental, polychromatic metal wall reliefs and sculptures based on Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.

American, b. 1936, Malden, Massachusetts, based in New York and Rock Tavern, New York