Marrakech, 1964. Frank Stella. Fluorescent alkyd on canvas. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Scull, 1971. © 2019 Frank Stella/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.
This painting is part of Stella’s Morocco series (1964–65), which was inspired in part by Arabic tiles. Using fluorescent paint to disrupt the picture plane, Stella creates not only an illusion of depth but also a pulsating effect that belies the work’s simple, geometric lines. The combination of red and yellow in an optically dynamic composition presages similar strategies Sottsass employed in the laminate patterns of his Superboxes.