Frank Stella on artistic reinvention


One of the things that I love about making is trying new things. New materials. New forms. New techniques. New colour palettes.

Frank Stella is an artist whose work and career one can't help but admire. With a practice spanning over half a century, his work continues to be fresh and new. I found this article written about his lack of belief in artistic reinvention interesting.

He says of artists and the idea of "new" work; "The underlying structure, the way they handle things, the way they relate parts to each other and put everything together—that doesn’t change much. I think that’s what they call "style." "

When I look at my making I see this is true. While I try new things and each body of work is distinct, I can see that there are themes that run through my approach. I see this in the other artists in the Handshake programme too. While I can often pick which jeweller made what works that doesn't mean that they're not making different work, just that their voice is clearly apparent.

So what does this mean when responding to the three artists' work for the CODA show? My approach to my making will be unchanged, if we agree with Frank Stella's belief, yet I'll be influenced by elements of their "style" (to use his word). And this is the intent of the show. One maker responding to the work of three different artists.

The brief of responding to someone else's work is liberating. When you'd think that it wouldn't be. You'd think that it'd be limiting, but it's really not. There are so many ways to respond and it gives you a springboard from which to leap.

The article including his thoughts on artistic reinvention can be read at: Image: Frank Stella, Nessus and Dejanira, 2017, Marianne Boesky Gallery

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