Frank Stella's early paintings were an inspiration to me because of their lack of decoration or ornamentation. The paintings were devoid of ostentation and seemed essentially empty of content. They had become "painted objects" rather then pictures painted of something. I responded to their honest and upfront nature and the image/object dialectic became a big part of what i was doing.
Later, however, Frank began to move in a different direction introducing day glo colours and 3D shapes into his work. When he started moving back to ornamentation and large scale commercial project production my interest in his work began to wan.
Frank Stella was hugely influenced by the Abstract Expressionists but in particular by Barnett Newman whose large austere canvasses resonated with him as a student. Jasper Johns early pop art structures were also a key to understanding why Stella made the decisions he did when innovating his work from 2D to 3D. For Stella, it is simply a working out of core ideas he holds about painted surfaces and scale and what they should or could be.
Nevertheless, like or dislike his art, he succeeded in confounding many of his peers and senior colleagues with the innovative art that he produced while still quite young.
Frank Stella has had a 'stellar' career and his work is found in museums and public places all over the world. I hope you'll take time to look at this artist more carefully as he has stood the test of time.