Frank Stella (1936)

Colored Maze,1966
Acrylic, canvas, Museum Ludwig, Cologne

The American painter and object artist comes from Malden (Massachusetts) and is mainly artistically active in New York. Frank Stella is one of the representatives of Hard Edge colour field painting. The pictures show stencil-like, flat geometric elements with clear edges. As a rule, only a few colours are used. The images are analytically and rationally controlled. In the picture to the left, trapezoidal coloured stripes of various lengths are spirally assembled. The four radiating lines from the centre convey a pyramid-like depression; the picture surface conveys a three-dimensional object. The colour sequence of the spirally arranged strips does not initially seem to follow a systematic arrangement. On closer inspection, the sequence of colours from the RGB colour space is predetermined. In the counter clockwise direction, the first 6 colours are found in the RGB colour space. These are red, yellow-red, yellow, green, blue and purple. In this sequence, no blue can follow on a yellow stripe and no green on a red stripe or vice versa. The colour spiral begins in the centre with red, followed by yellow-red, yellow, green, blue, violet, the direction of the colour sequence is now reversed, followed by blue, green, yellow, yellow-red and red. After the red, it continues with yellow red, yellow, green, blue and violet. The selection direction is reversed again, and so on. The last colour on the outer edge is red. The colour change is the same when the colour sequence is traced from the outer edge starting with red. The reversal of the color order of the 6 colors occurs after one and a half cycles; a mechanized technique of colour design.
Note: The colors of the digital representation may differ slightly from the real object. However, the analysis of the applied color technique of the artist remains unaffected.

(own study of the artist's work)