Frank Stella to Receive Americans for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award

Frank Stella. (Photo courtesy Patrick McMullan Co.)

Frank Stella is having one incredible fall. A show of his early Minimalist work is on view in a smart show at Paul Kasmin Gallery through October 29, his BMW art car recently sold for what is believed to be a substantial sum, and he will be honored with a lifetime achievement award on Monday, at the Americans for the Arts annual gala at Cipriani in Manhattan.

Being fêted alongside Mr. Stella, 75, by the nonprofit group, which supports the arts and arts education, are artists Jenny Holzer and Gabourey Sidibe, philanthropist Beverley Taylor Sorenson and Wells Fargo & Company, which is being given AFA’s Corporate Citizenship in the Arts Award.

Mr. Stella’s history in New York goes back to the late 1950s, when he first started showing at the Leo Castelli Gallery fresh out of Princeton. Here’s Castelli describing the moment he came across Stella’s work:

“It is difficult for me to describe the extraordinary shock I experienced when I saw the large black paintings that he was doing at the time … Stella’s hard and brutal abstractions had an extraordinary effect on me. I realized later–and Stella confirmed this–that the stripes in his paintings were inspired by the stripes in the flags of Jasper Johns. Without hesitating for a moment, I asked him to join my gallery.”