Frank Stella

STELLA BY STELLA: The life and work of artist Frank Stella  

Frank Stella did not set out to become an artist. When he moved to New York City in 1958 at the age of 22, all he wanted to do was make things. Over 60 years later, the now 86-year-old Frank Stella is globally recognised as one of the foremost American painters, sculptors and printmakers of his generation, having made arguably the largest impact of any one person on abstractionism. 

His life and career were the inspiration of our Winter 2022 collection, aptly titled STELLA BY STELLA – reinterpreting his minimalist and maximalist abstract prints, graphics and sculptural shapes from his archive both subtly and overtly across conscious fashion pieces. The scale of his works is often exaggerated, with his sprawling etchings and towering constructs exhibited globally. 

My mother was very interested in fashion as well as painting. She studied fashion and design in school in Boston before she retired to keep house and raise children. When she dressed up, she was glamorous.

Frank Stella

Stella is a lifelong fan of Frank Stella’s art, having had the chance to interview him in 2014. Her favourite piece, Spectralia (1994), is reimagined in our Winter 2022 collection as a forest-friendly viscose dress, tailoring and an exclusive vegan Frayme bag. Additional prints used include his V Series (1968), Swan Engraving (1982) and Ahab (1988). Actor and vegan Sadie Sink wore Winter 2022, shot amongst his sculptures at The Ranch gallery in Montauk: The Cabin, Ahab & Pip (1993); K.236 (2016); Fat 12 Point Carbon Fiber Star (2016); Frank’s Wooden Star (2014); and The Grand Cascapedia (2021). 

Frank Stella bio 

Born in 1936 in Boston to parents of Italian heritage, Frank Stella was first introduced to art by his mother and his time at Phillips Academy – where he learned of abstract modernists like Josef Albers and Hans Hofmann. He would then go on to Princeton University before moving to New York City with no set direction. 

I wasn’t thinking of becoming an artist. I just wanted to make things and paint for a while.

Frank Stella, in interview with Stella McCartney
Frank Stellas

Doing odd jobs at the time, he found a studio and quickly took his artistic practice professional. He found recognition with his The Black Paintings series in 1959 – consisting of raw canvases layered with black house paint and unpainted lines. This was a notable departure from the gestural painting style typical of the era.


Frank Stella broke away from the abstract expressionism popularised by the likes of Jackson Pollock and Franz Klines at the time – and has continued to reinvent his style each decade. From mixed media collaging and three-dimensional sculpture to geographic illusions and lithographic drawings, his diverse portfolio embodies an unparalleled, revolutionary timelessness and rebellious edge.  

Frank Stella

Today, Frank Stella continues to split his time between New York City’s dynamic West Village neighbourhood, where he has lived since 1968, as well as a studio upstate. 


Shop the STELLA BY STELLA Winter 2022 collection online and in-store now.