Different Stripes: Frank Stella, Agnes Martin, Barnett Newman, Bridget Riley, Ken Noland, Gene Davis, Morris Louis and Ellsworth Kelly

6
Briget Riley

Bridget Riley

Gene Davis

Gene Davis

Frank Stella, Agnes Martin, Barnett Newman, Bridgette RileyKen Noland, Gene DavisMorris Louis and Ellsworth Kelly have all made paintings consisting of stripes. Some of them at first glance are hard to tell apart. But I believe that these paintings are radically different — different in intention and completely different in their look. This may be more difficult to make evident with jpgs on a computer screen. When you see the paintings in person, however,  the differences are more pronounced.

Gene Davis

Gene Davis

Barnett Newman

Barnett Newman

Frank Stella

Frank Stella

Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin

Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly

Bridget Riley

Bridget Riley

Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly

Barnett Newman

Barnett Newman

Kenneth Noland

Kenneth Noland

Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin

Morris Louis

Morris Louis

So, my question is: do the paintings themselves show us the artist’s intent, or can we only know the difference if we read about it?

And here is another odd thing. I like the work of all these painters for different reasons, with the exception of Gene Davis. I don’t get what his paintings are about.

Article on Barnett Newman’s Stations of the Cross:

Barnett Newman’s Stations of the Cross

Books of Interest:

Or order from your local independent books seller. Mine is Battenkill Books. Find the independent bookstore closest to you at IndieBound.org

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  1. Jane Pettit
    Jane Pettit07-26-2011

    I think understanding the artist can help to read the messages and we can always guess, but the final interpretation needs to be the artist’s to know for sure. Having said that, I just read some Kandinsky explanation of White Border at the Phillips that really seemed made up after the fact. I think Rothko belongs here, too. Lots of his work exudes mood/emotions and spirituality to me.
    Fun piece. Thanks.

    • Leslie Parke
      Leslie Parke07-30-2011

      It is impossible to know what an artist is thinking when they produce a piece. But I like to know as much as I can about the creation of a piece — where it was made, the materials, who the artist was hanging out with, what art they were looking at at the time, what was going on in their life. Knowing those thing just adds to my enjoyment of the piece. But it is not necessary. Once the piece leaves the studio, the viewer becomes a co-creator, bringing their life experience to the piece.

  2. don cook
    don cook06-03-2012

    As with all form–no matter how minimalist–there is no difference between the seen and the see-er. As with all form; the entire meaning lies within the conjuring-mind of the viewer. This is living.

    • Leslie Parke
      Leslie Parke06-03-2012

      Don – Great comment!

  3. AJ
    AJ12-23-2012

    I don’t think Davis’s paintings need to be about anything. I like the empty fullness aspect.

    • Leslie Parke
      Leslie Parke01-01-2013

      I agree, AJ. I have actually been surprised by my own response to Davis. An artist once said to me, “People like the artists they are ready for.” Perhaps I haven’t been ready.

Leave a Reply

    No Twitter Messages.