05/29/12 • 2 min
‘In the 1950s and 60s Frank Stella was a leading advocate for American artists who were attempting to break with the tradition of European painting that made reference to the world of visual effects beyond the canvas beyond art. Stella wanted to make an art form that was complete in itself, with as little internal division of its form as possible. His early paintings were determined by certain givens, such as the width of the canvas or paintbrush, or the nature of the paint itself. Stella said he wanted to to ‘keep the paint as good as it was in the can’. He had a favourite house-painting brush 23⁄4 inches wide and stretched his canvas over stretcher bars that were also 23⁄4 inches wide – both determining the width of the stripes painted parallel to the stretcher. This structural premise can be considered as the trigger for American minimalism.’
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