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Frank Stella | Los Angeles

Image of Dusk installation Image of Dusk installation


The Gas Company Tower
555 W. 5th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

About the work

Based on Frank Stella’s Moby Dick series concerning motion and travel, the imagery in Dusk represents a collage of paper, photographs of a metal construction, tape, push pins, and scraps of paper. The name of the work comes from a chapter title in Melville’s classic novel.

After accepting the commission, Stella proceeded to make a maquette of the design which was then transformed into a mural that same year. They patterns were outlined on the wall with charcoal then painted over and filled in color with rollers and low pressure airbrushes.

At the time of its commission, it was the largest mural in downtown Los Angeles and the most expensive outdoor mural (using paint as a medium) in the world. It still stands today as an iconic representation of the grand scales that downtown LA and its patrons promoted in all facets.

Frank Stella is an American painter and printmaker best known for his use of abstracted geometric patterns and shapes. Arguably one of the most important living American artists, Stella painted with the intent to flatten surfaces and often chose shaped canvases, later incorporating relief and sculptural elements into his work. Born on May 12, 1936 in Malden, MA, Stella studied history at Princeton University before moving to New York where he launched his career as a Modern artist. He has exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Switzerland, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others. Stella currently lives and works in New York.