The Concentric format provided fertile ground for experimentation in colour and value relationships for Frank Stella. All of the Concentric pictures are square and consist of concentric bands which are parallel to the edge of the canvas. The format is determined by the number of bands and the unpainted interstices between the coloured bands. It provides the parameters for the making of the painting, eliminating all compositional decisions, and allowing the artist to concentrate purely on colour and value relationships.
As Stella himself said: "The Concentric Squares created a pretty high, pretty tough pictorial standard. Their simple, rather humbling effect, almost a numbing effect, became a sort of 'control' against which my increasing tendency in the seventies to be extravagant could be measured". (W. Rubin, Frank Stella 1970-1987, New York 1987, p. 48)