On December 18, 2020 Stefanie De Winter successfully defended her PhD dissertation Flattened Intensities: An Empirically Informed Assessment of Frank Stella’s Fluorescent Paintings from the Sixties. Stefanie is alumna of the Conservation-Restoration educational programme of the University of Antwerp. After graduation she enrolled in the art history programme of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KULeuven).
Having a background in conservation studies, Stefanie first conserved some of Stella’s fluorescent works over a decade ago. Later on she went on to study the conservation problems of fluorescent paint layers in general. In subsequent art history studies, the focus shifted to the use of fluorescent colors in painting. It quickly became apparent that the complexities and nuances of these colors had largely remained under the radar of mainstream art history. As a consequence, the full significance of Stella’s fluorescent works for the Modernist debate was left underdetermined. This dissertation is a modest attempt to help filling this lacuna.
Promotor is Prof. dr. Hilde Van Gelder, with co-promotors Prof. dr. Johan Wagemans (KULeuven) and Prof. dr. Geert Van der Snickt (UAntwerp).