Exotic Bird Alights at The Graduate Center
Visitors to the Dining Commons at the Graduate Center now have
a choicenot a gustatory choice (there have always been
plenty of those) but a visual one. They can stand at the east
end, look skyward, and take in the Empire State Building. Or
they can stand on the west end of the Commons, look up, and
tie their eyes around Frank Stella's exuberant and monumental
"Dove of Tanna," created in 1977.
The brilliantly colorful work, in mixed media on aluminum, was recently installed on long-term loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art, which received it in 1990 as a gift from the family of Victor W. Ganz in his memory. Though enormous13' x 19' x 3'"Dove of Tanna" spreads its wings comfortably in the monumental space of the Commons, and the vast skylight allows access to what every big bird needs.
Stella, long associated with New York City's art scene, grew up in Malden, Massachusetts, studied at Princeton, then achieved his first local recognition in the 1960s as part of the color-field and hard-edge movements. Initially, he worked with a monochromatic palette and adhered to rigid shapes and parallel lines. "Dove of Tanna," part of Stella's exotic bird series, typifies his later work, which breaks away from two-dimensional painting and employs vibrant color and sculptural form.
© 2002 Frank Stella /Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York