Art Across Campus: ‘Euphonia’
One of most requested works to view in the UH public art collection is the colossal silk screen collage “Euphonia,” completed by notable artist Frank Stella during the summer of 1997.
“(Stella) has an international reputation; he’s in every single art history book you’ll ever come across,” UH Curator of Public Art Michael Guidry said.
Though one might never guess from seeing his piece in the Moores School of Music Opera House, the New York artist first made a name for himself in the ’60s as a minimalist painter.
“I mean really minimalist,” Guidry said. “Like black and copper-color, or black and white.”
As Stella’s career progressed, he began incorporating the color, geometry and playfulness that is slightly more familiar to the aesthetic of “Euphonia” into his work.
“It’s enormous,” Guidry said. “It’s not just the ceiling of the Opera House, but also three enormous paintings on the Mezzanine level. Those are something like ten by eight feet each; they’re just enormous.”
The piece also includes the underside of the catwalk used by lighting technicians that hangs above the audience affectionately called “The Doughnut.”
“So when you’re sitting in the opera house looking up, instead of looking at a steal structure, you’re looking at another Frank Stella,” Guidry said. “He really went all out, above and beyond what was initially asked of him. He really did a great job of integrating art into that space.”
In 1966, the UH Board of Regents voted to dedicate one percent of the cost of all future building projects to art, making UH the first state institution to establish a percent for arts program. Today, there are more than 250 works in the UH Public Art Collection. Works located on-campus will be highlighted in this series. View previously featured artwork at thedailycougar.com/tags/art/