Podcast: Derrick Buisch and Leslie Smith III on Frank Stella

Two painters discuss MMOCA’s major Frank Stella retrospective.

Two painters discuss MMOCA’s major Frank Stella retrospective.


Detail from

Detail from “Extracts, from Moby Dick Deckle Edges” (1993)

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s major retrospective of Frank Stella prints is up through May 22, and it’s one that I recommend visiting if you haven’t yet. It spans the 79-year-old artist’s many innovations in printmaking, from the charmingly orchestrated geometry of his early work to his 1990s experiments with digital renderings of smoke rings. In between, you watch Stella’s printmaking work spiral into exuberant complexity, in works that required dozens of elaborately layered metal plates.

It’s a lot to take in, so I invited Leslie Smith III and Derrick Buisch to offer some perspective and highlight some of their favorite parts of the show. Both are painters and UW-Madison art professors, so I also asked them about how Stella’s work has influenced their own relationships with color and abstraction. Buisch also will be giving a talk about the show on May 12 as part of MMOCA’s Under the Influence series. Listen to our conversation here.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and catch WORT-FM’s weeknight news show In Our Backyard, which partners with us to produce these. Thanks to Dylan Brogan for producing this interview.

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