Conway III

Conway III
Artist:
Frank Stella (American, 1936–)
Date:
1966
Medium:
Fluorescent alkyd resin and epoxy paint on canvas 
Dimensions:
80-3/4 x 122-3/4 in. (205.1 x 311.8 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of the Thomas G. Terbell, Jr. Family 
Accession Number:
P.1970.05 
Copyright:
© 2014 Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 
Not on View
Description

Conway III, part of Frank Stella’s Irregular Polygon series of the mid-’60s, makes an instant visual impact thanks to its fluorescent colors and inventive design—a parallelogram slotted into a rectangle. The hybrid geometry of this composition dictates the shape of the canvas as well, which, together with its 5-inch-thick stretcher, accentuate the painting’s object quality. The dynamic diagonal of the parallelogram penetrating the rectangle, itself free of delimiting bands of color at its top edge, imparts a vivid sense of spatial illusion. But in the absence of pictorial elements, including overlap and value contrast, the composition remains unremittingly flat and surface specific.

Stella experimented with two different pigments here—Day Glo, which requires multiple layers to achieve opacity, and epoxy enamels, which dry to a hard, glossy finish. With mediums of such different character, the uniform look he achieved with these close-valued colors is all the more notable. Stella used 1/4-inch masking tape both to separate the color fields while painting and to add space between them. He knew the thinners in the paint would eat through the tape, leaving a slightly irregular edge to each area of color. The unpainted canvas between the color bands was vital to the design too, for as Stella said, “without them the Irregular Polygons would have become Hard-Edge paintings.....Leaving them out would have killed the space, and made the pictures snap around a lot. ....the necessity of separating the colors, that breathing, that soft line, and that identification of [color with] the ground seemed very important to me…”

Provenance:

[Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, to];
[Ferus/Pace Gallery, Los Angeles, to];
[Irving Blum Gallery, Los Angeles, to];
Thomas G. Terbell, Jr. family, Pasadena, gift 1970 to;
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, 1970-1975;
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, 1975.

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via email. Requests can also be made by fax or mail.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Please download the Application for Reproduction Permission form and submit it to the Office of Rights and Reproductions.

E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: (626) 449-6840 x 3300
Fax: (626) 796-4978
   

Additional Artwork by Artist