The International Sculpture Center awarded its 20th annual Lifetime Achievement in Sculpture award to Frank Stella on April 26, 2011. Almost 200 artists, patrons, friends and colleagues of Stella joined the ISC’s Board of Trustees to honor the prolific artist at the Tribeca Rooftop in NYC.
Speakers Adam Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Ken Tyler, master printer and long-time friend of Stella, provided guests with both an art historical and personal perspective on the guest of honor. Although each speaker was given only a short time for remarks, it was evident that there was much to be said of Stella’s substantial achievements and influence on contemporary art. Weinberg remarked, “It’s not merely the length of his career, it is the density and intensity of his work and his ability to reinvent himself as an artist that makes it impossible to take the measure of his contribution in ten minutes.”
Stella may be best known as a painter, but when describing the evolution of his work, Stella remarks, “…I am quite happy and not a little bit proud to say that at the end of the twentieth century after more than a hundred years of modernism I am able to paint in space with steel.” It is precisely because of this artistic evolution and achievement in three-dimensional design that Stella was chosen as the recipient of the 2011 Lifetime Achievement in Sculpture award. Many past Lifetime Achievement Award recipients sent their congratulations to Stella and past recipient Phillip King, presented the award to a grateful and humble Frank Stella.
The evening closed with smiles and congratulations accompanied by the presentation of a birthday cake, fashioned in the style of one of Stella’s concentric square paintings. Known for an unwavering dedication to his own personal vision, Stella was given a very appropriate toast by Ann Freedman of Freedman Art. As Gala guests raised their glasses to Stella for the last time that evening, Freedman wished him a Happy Birthday and said, “…this is a time when you can have your concentric square cake and eat it too.”
Click here to visit the web pages for the Lifetime Acheivement Award Gala
Honoring Frank Stella
Photos by Escarpeta PhotoGraphics