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Frank Stella

De la nada vida a la nada muerte, 1965

Metallic powder in polymer emulsion on canvas

<p>Known for his early stripe paintings and elaborately shaped canvases, the prodigiously inventive Frank Stella always works in series. <em>De la nada vida a la nada muerte</em> is the largest of his <em>Running V</em> paintings—a set of large, monochromatic striped pictures whose titles derive from colloquial Spanish expressions. The length and mellifluous sound of this work’s title, which literally means “From life nothing to death nothing,” coincides with the rising and falling visual cadences of the painting. The two-dimensional surface, which appears as if it might continue into infinity, consists of 20 parallel lines and seems to alternately project from and recede into the wall. Although Stella’s rigorously calibrated surface, immaculate execution, and use of monochromatic gold pigment temper this painting, they barely constrain its kinetic exuberance.</p>