In 1956, when he was still an undergraduate student at Princeton University, Frank Stella had never seen the work of Jasper Johns. In some way, though, he knew of it. Johns's art was "a kind of palpable reality of some sort that was in the air," he later said. The young painter found it "interesting to hear about something strongly reputed to be good, and then actually see it be good." From Johns, Stella took cues to a career so successful that, in the sixties, he eclipsed everyone but Andy Warhol.