The Poetics of Painting

Part Four: Tradition
Guest Post

By Daniel Siedell

Today’s post concludes our occasional series on “The Poetics of Painting.”

While touring an exhibition of Frank Stella’s paintings in 1970, critic Rosalind Krauss asked the exhibition’s organizer, fellow critic Michael Fried, why Stella, a Minimalist, felt compelled to paint stripes, again and again.

Fried responded with this story: When Stella was a student at Princeton, he would take the train into Manhattan and go to the Met where he would sit for hours in front of the canvases of the Spanish master Diego Velázquez (1599-1660). Stella wanted more than anything else to paint like Velázquez. But he knew he couldn’t, so he returned to his studio, and painted stripes.  [Read more…]