Ellsworth Kelly (b. 1923)
Untitled, 1973; Serigraph on wove paper; Numbered 102/300 in pencil lower left; Initialed E K in pencil lower right; Stamped © Copyright 1973 By Ellsworth Kelly Printed At Styria Studio in black ink, upper right verso; Published by Experiments in Art and Technology, Inc.; Catalog Raisonne: A.: 92; Size - Sheet 12 x 9"; Unframed.
"I have worked to free shape from its ground, and then to work the shape so that it has a definite relationship to the space around it; so that it has a clarity and a measure within itself of its parts (angles, curves, edges, and mass); and so that, with color and tonality, the shape finds its own space and always demands its freedom and separateness." - Ellsworth Kelly
Ellsworth Kelly was an American painter, sculptor, and printmaker who was associated with Hard-Edge painting, Color Field, and Minimalism. He is one of the 20th century's greatest and most influential artists, and his work hangs in the world's finest museum's permanent collections.
Despite Kelly being associated with Minimalism, he does not see himself as a minimalist at all; but rather a figure to ground and a color interaction painter. Ellsworth Kelly's works do have a life model, and unlike Ad Reinhardt, Josef Albers, or Barnett Newman; Kelly derives his forms from nature and his surroundings. Photographs taken by Kelly in France as early as 1949 show the casting of shadow and light over surfaces of Parisian architecture; and it was these photographs that served as references for his paintings at the time. The forms, derived
from shadows or just small sections of trees or buildings, are then edited and isolated into regular and irregular geometric shapes. Kelly then paints these forms choosing specific colors to isolate the form, and in some cases to relate to other colored forms within the composition.
"Untitled," 1973 (created to raise funds for the acquisition of works of art by artists working in New York during the 1960's that were to be donated to the Moderna Museet, Stockholm) by Ellsworth Kelly is an extremely well executed work of art. The vertical rectangular sheet is equally bisected with a black panel on top, and a white below. The stark contrast of black and white combined with the hard edge forms create simple structure that is devoid of figuration, but not of subject. The black form is heavy and dense, but seems to float above a field of empty space. The act of viewing the work is the realization that there is a specific and elegant balance, created with the intent of invoking a feeling of calmness and introspection. An exceptional work by Ellsworth Kelly and a great addition to any art collection.
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