Frank Stella’s Psychedelic Sculptures Land in New York

03.19.24 | By
Frank Stella’s Psychedelic Sculptures Land in New York

Legendary artist Frank Stella continues to prove his unparalleled curiosity and capacity for reinvention. His current exhibition – Frank Stella: Recent Sculpture – at Jeffrey Deitch in New York’s SoHo neighborhood presents five massive sculptures with color-shifting elements that feel as if they could lift into the air at any second. The exhibition is a visual rollercoaster of surprising form, color, gravity, and scale in a space that invites multi-level vantage points.

An art exhibition featuring abstract sculptures by frank stella, with a visitor observing the artwork.

Installation, Frank Stella at Jeffrey Deitch, 2024

Upon entry, three sculptures from the Scarlatti Sonata Kirkpatrick stand 16-18 feet tall. All dated 2014, the pieces supported by a single metal pole on a wheeled base. Each work was first designed by Stella in a computer modeling program, allowing solid ribbons, orbs, and spirals to overlap into each other’s space as if there was some glitch in space time. The digital shapes are then 3D printed as small singular objects and sent to fabricators in the Netherlands and Belgium to be engineered at a massive scale using foam, fiberglass, or aluminum, before returning to Stella’s studio in New York to be sprayed with car paint.

A person observing large, colorful abstract sculptures displayed in a white-walled gallery space.

Installation, Frank Stella at Jeffrey Deitch, 2024

Abstract swirling sculpture on a wheeled metal base.

K.40 Large Version, 2014

Abstract interlocking sculpture with cool-toned hues.

K.40 Large Version, 2014 (detail)

In the teal and white K.40 Large Version (above), a central spherical orb shifts in color based on your angle of view – from orange-red to a contrasting blue-purple. In K.123 Large Version (below), wispy ribbons of white and yellow pierce through a curving mass that shifts between a wide spectrum of blue, fuchsia, and orange. The color, like the forms themselves, benefit from your own continued motion, and this space provides plenty of room to circle each.

Colorful, abstract metal sculpture on a wheeled stand, displayed in a white gallery space.

K.123 Large Version, 2014

Colorful abstract sculpture with intertwined shapes.

K.123 Large Version, 2014 (detail)

Colorful abstract metal sculpture displayed on a wheeled stand in a gallery setting.

K.144 Large Version, 2014

Colorful close-up of an aircraft engine turbine blades.

K.144 Large Version, 2014 (detail)

On the elevated “stage level,” two works from the more recent Atlantic Salmon Rivers Series have a different relationship to gravity. Hanging from massive supports, they, too, feel weightless. The 2022 sculpture The Petite Cascapedia measures over 27-feet across and features large squiggles of red, yellow, and blue lines. It’s as if giant tubes of paint have been squeezed in zero gravity, weaving through a white and metallic central form that reflects an aura of the colors.

Modern art gallery with a visitor observing large abstract sculptures.

Installation, Frank Stella at Jeffrey Deitch, 2024

Abstract metal sculpture with colorful tubing elements, displayed on a minimalist frame in a gallery setting.

The Petite Cascapedia, 2022

Colorful wires interconnecting various parts of industrial equipment.

The Petite Cascapedia, 2022 (detail)

Jeffery Deitch Gallery in SoHo is a perfect setting for these. It’s an airplane hangar-like space that adds to a feeling of you may be walking through a top-secret storage facility of UFO’s or futuristic energy reactors.

A modern art gallery displaying large, abstract wall sculptures in a bright, well-lit space.

Installation, Frank Stella at Jeffrey Deitch, 2024

But don’t exit yet. For those who are curious enough to venture up the stairs to the high balcony level, a surprise awaits – a scale model of the entire exhibition and everything in it!  Measuring 6×12 feet, the metal “gallery” holds 3D-printed versions of every sculpture in the show painted in the same brilliant colors. It provides an Alice in Wonderland sense of scale as you can view both the large works and tiny works simultaneously while also giving you a view of the works you could only get in a helicopter.

Modular wooden crates in an art gallery with abstract sculptures in the background.

Frank Stella, Model for Deitch, Wooster St, 2023

Overhead view of colorful modern chairs scattered on glass flooring with metal supports and stairs visible.

Frank Stella, Model for Deitch, Wooster St, 2023 (detail)

Frank Stella, Model for Deitch, Wooster St, 2023 (detail)

Whether you have followed Stella’s exceptional career for over 6 decades, or it’s your very first introduction to his practice, you’ll be overwhelmed by wonder, joy, and a contagious spirit of discovery.

What: Frank Stella: Recent Sculpture
Where: Jeffrey Deitch, 18 Wooster Street, New York, New York
When: March 8 – April 20, 2024

All photos by Genevieve Hanson. ©2024 Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS)

David Behringer visits over 200 galleries every month to uncover and share the most exciting contemporary art in New York today. Subscribe to his exclusive weekly newsletter at and learn about his private gallery tours. And be sure to check out his YouTube.