This is the 1980s. It is a 1981 piece, but if ever you wanted to understand the visual life of the 1980s, this is the piece. It is large, brash, striking. The colors are both somehow harsh, but muted, almost pastel. The forms are busy, layered, three-dimensional, though approached as an illusion of flatness. It is Stella at his most overly-complete, while also never missing the fact that Stella is not at all any one thing. He is a minimalist who often overly-packed. He is an abstract expressionist who can not help but to make his works feel as if he is dressing a stage. He is overwhelming in the aspect of size and form, but typically means to give you only enough to allow you to pile on your own experiences on them.
In a way, this is an abstract expressionist piece, only deeply staged, much like the Elizabeth Murray work Chain Gang or the Lichtenstein Brushstroke series, it is an exploration of moving away from the gestural and towards the constructed (in this case made of aluminium and enamel) while still using the same markers. Very smart.
Christopher J Garcia - Curator, Fan Writer, Podcaster, and a guy who just loves art.