Whitehot Magazine

Frank Stella has died at 87

Frank Stella (L) with Whitehot Magazine artist/publisher Noah Becker at Marianne Boesky Gallery, NYC. 

By NOAH BECKER May 4, 2024

Frank Stella, a deeply innovative artist and one of the massive figures of art history has died at 87. My interactions with him include a trip to his studio to interview him for a cover story and other visits with Frank before his exhibitions. Each time we met I had in-depth conversations about art with Stella - which I will speak about further. In addition to his sweeping influence on art history and generations of artists, on a personal level his ideas and advice has assisted me greatly over the years in the making of my own paintings. 

The first time I met Stella was when I wrote a cover story for Artvoices Magazine. Publisher Terrence Smith got Terrence and I a yellow cab, (pre-UBER days) to Stella’s studio in upstate NY.  Upon entering the massive airplane hanger sized building, I was struck by Stella’s larger sculptures. The distant sound of power tools could be heard ringing through the space. Dealer Daniel Templon was wandering through the studio and I was directed to Frank who was smoking a cigar next to a vintage Ferrari while studying the plans to a German museum.

 Video: Frank Stella and Noah Becker at Marianne Boesky Gallery, NYC

Feeling nervous, I found a seat next to Frank and asked him a question. “What are these sculptures about,” I said. “What are you about?” was his somewhat sharp reply. “Oh boy this is going to be a long day…” ran through my head. After we loosened up a bit, he spoke of the sculptures being “sonatas” and how they related to classical music forms.

Frank Stella was at Boesky Gallery in Chelsea, so I met him for morning coffee. His thoughts on painting still interested me and I was writing about him for VICE/Garage magazine, which at that time covered art. It was miraculous hearing him talk about Morris Louis and Samuel Beckett in relation to his work.

When Frank spoke it was like listening to art history in action. 

Rest in peace to one of the greats. WM


Noah Becker

Noah Becker is an artist and the publisher and founding editor of Whitehot Magazine. He shows his paintings internationally at museums and galleries. Becker also plays jazz saxophone. Becker's writing has appeared in The Guardian, VICE, Garage, Art in America, Interview Magazine, Canadian Art and the Huffington Post. He has written texts for major artist monographs published by Rizzoli and Hatje Cantz. Becker directed the New York art documentary New York is Now (2010). Becker's new album of original music "Mode For Noah" was released in 2023. 


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Email: noah@whitehotmagazine.com

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