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© Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Photo: Dan Wayne

Frank Stella
Born 1936 in Malden, MA
Lives and works in New York, NY
The Prophet (D16, 2X), 1990
mixed media on aluminum
161 1/2 x 109 3/4 x 68 inches
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald K. Greenberg and the R. C. Kemper Charitable Trust and Foundation
1995.73a–f
enlarge image

While he began his career in the late 1950s an an austerely minimalist painter, Stella changed his style in the 1970s to feature bold colors, shapes, and patterns on three-dimensional canvasas and sculptures. In 1986 he began to seriously develop curving wave forms in his work, embarking on the best and most prolific period – the epic years – of his career. He named each of the wave pieces completed from 1986 to 1990 fo a chapter or character from Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick. The Prophet (D16, 2X) refers to Chapter 19, in which Ishmael and Queequeg meet Elijah, an old sailor who warns them of their impending voyage.