Ellsworth Kelly American Artist, 1923–2015

Ellsworth Kelly (May 31, 1923 – December 27, 2015) was an American painter, sculptor, and printmaker associated with hard-edge painting, Color Field painting and minimalism. His works demonstrate unassuming techniques emphasizing line, color and form, similar to the work of John McLaughlin and Kenneth Noland. Kelly often employed bright colors. He lived and worked in Spencertown, New York.

Since the beginning of his career, Ellsworth Kelly’s emphasis on pure form and color and his impulse to suppress gesture in favor of creating spatial unity have played a pivotal role in the development of abstract art in America. A major influence on Pop Art, Minimalism, hard-edge and color field painting, Ellsworth Kelly’s best-known works are distinguished by sharply delineated shapes flatly painted in vivid color, such as Colors for a Large Wall (1951). His abstract paintings are inspired by the interplay of light, space, and color in the architecture around him. In contrast, Kelly’s automatic drawings feature delicate outlines of bodies and flora.

Considered a pioneer of hard-edge painting, Ellsworth Kelly is best known for his crisp nonrepresentational works, intensely colored and radically simplified. His early training in the applied art program at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, was interrupted by his induction into the army in 1943. Art Historian E. C. Goossen has speculated that Kelly’s assignment to a camouflage battalion provided him with invaluable lessons about the interaction of form and shadow in space, which were applied later in his collages, paintings, and sculpture.

After studying for two years at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Kelly went to Paris in 1948 to attend the École des Beaux-Arts until 1950. In France he encountered the works of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Jean Arp, and Piet Mondrian. His figurative work subsequently gave way to increasingly abstract paintings in which curvilinear and rectilinear forms suggest fragments of visual phenomena such as architectural elements and shadows.

In 1950 he began to explore the random selection of color and form by using collages, composed of torn details of his drawings, as the basis for his paintings. While in France Kelly also produced grid paintings built on modular and serial systems. By 1952 these concerns were expressed in large multipanel paintings in which each panel was a module of color. Kelly’s concern with color as form was thus established.

After returning to the United States in 1954, Kelly worked with large single biomorphic shapes in black and white. Primary colors reappeared in his paintings after 1957, either in double or triple variations or singly in contrast with white, as in Blue on White [SAAM, 1969.47.63].

National Museum of American Art (CD-ROM) (New York and Washington D.C.: MacMillan Digital in cooperation with the National Museum of American Art, 1996)

Ellsworth Kelly Green Curve (State I) 1988One-color lithograph

Image/paper size:  37 1/2 x 84 inches  (95.2 x 213.4 cm)
Edition of 15, 6 AP
Signed ‘Kelly’ and numbered lower right

SELECTED WORKS

Dark Gray Curve

Ellsworth KellyDark Gray Curve 1988Two color lithograph on Arches Cover paper

Image/paper size:  26 x 84 inches  (66 x 213.4 cm)
Frame size:  28 7/8 x 86 7/8 inches  (73.3 x 220.7 cm)
Edition of 25
Signed “Kelly’ and numbered lower right in graphite

Untitled (Purple State I)

Ellsworth KellyUntitled (Purple State I) 1988One color lithograph on Arches 88 paper

Image/paper size:  51 x 46 inches  (129.5 x 116.8 cm)
Edition of 18
Signed, numbered and dated lower right

Green

Ellsworth KellyGreen 2001One-color lithograph on Rives BFK white paper

Image/paper size: 48 1/16 x 36 inches (122.1 x 91.4 cm)
Edition of 45
Signed ‘Kelly’ and numbered lower right in graphite

Red-Orange (Rouge-Orange)

Ellsworth KellyRed-Orange (Rouge-Orange) 1964-65Lithograph on Rives BFK white paper with deckled edge

Image size:  18 1/8 x 25 1/8 inches  (46 x 63.8 cm)
Paper size:  23 3/4 x 35 1/4 inches  (60.3 x 89.5 cm)
Edition of 75
Signed “Kelly” lower right, numbered lower left; Titled, dated, numbered and inscribed ‘Axom 6’ on reverse in graphite

Blue Yellow Red

Ellsworth KellyBlue Yellow Red 1990Three-color lithograph on Rives BFK white paper with deckled edge

Image size:  30 1/16 x 30 1/8 inches  (76.4 x 76.5 cm)
Paper size:  37 1/8 x 36 1/8 inches  (94.3 x 91.8 cm)
Edition of 80, 25 AP
Signed lower right and numbered lower left

Two Blacks and White

Ellsworth KellyTwo Blacks and White 2000Lithograph on Rives BFK white paper

Image/paper size: 30 1/16 x 30 1/16 inches (76.4 x 76.4 cm)
Edition of 46
Signed ‘Kelly’ and numbered lower right in graphite

Small Red Curve

Ellsworth KellySmall Red Curve 2012One color lithograph on Rives BFK paper

Image/paper size:  17 7/16 x 12 1/2 inches  (44.3 x 31.8 cm)
Edition of 100
Signed and numbered lower right in graphite

Blue curves

Ellsworth KellyBlue curves 2013One-color lithograph

Image/paper size:  14 1/16 x 10 inches  (35.7 x 25.4 cm)
Edition of 50
Signed ‘Kelly’ and numbered lower right in image

Red curve

Ellsworth KellyRed curve 2013One-color lithograph

Edition of 50
Signed ‘Kelly’ and numbered lower right
Image/paper size:  30 1/8 x 22 inches  (76.5 x 55.9 cm)

Small Blue Curve

Ellsworth KellySmall Blue Curve 2012One color lithograph on Rives BFK paper

Image/paper size: 17 7/16 x 12 1/2 inches (44.3 x 31.8 cm)
Edition of 100
Signed and numbered lower right in graphite

Red Curve (Black State)

Ellsworth KellyRed Curve (Black State) 1999Lithograph on Rives BFK white paper

Image/paper size:  10 x 7 5/8 inches  (25.4 x 19.4 cm)
Edition of 55
Signed lower left and numbered lower right

Untitled (for Obama)

Ellsworth KellyUntitled (for Obama) 2012One-color lithograph

Image/paper size:  14 1/16 x 10 inches  (35.7 x 25.4 cm)
Edition of 150
Signed ‘Kelly’ and numbered lower right in image

Concorde II (State) from The Concorde Series

Ellsworth KellyConcorde II (State) from The Concorde Series 1981Etching and aquatint with plate tone on Arches Cover paper with deckled edge

Image/plate size: 16 3/4 x 12 3/16 inches (42.5 x 31 cm)
Paper size: 32 3/4 x 25 1/8 inches (83.2 x 63.8 cm)
Frame size: 34 3/4 x 27 1/4 inches (88.3 x 69.2 cm)
Edition of 18
Signed lower right and numbered lower left in graphite

Concorde IV from The Concorde Series

Ellsworth KellyConcorde IV from The Concorde Series 1981-82Etching with aquatint on Arches Cover paper with deckled edge

Image/plate size:  16 x 12 1/2 inches  (40.6 x 31.8 cm)
Paper size:  34 1/2 x 25 7/8 inches  (87.6 x 65.7 cm)
Edition of 18
Signed lower right, numbered lower left in graphite

Concorde V from The Concorde Series

Ellsworth KellyConcorde V from The Concorde Series 1981-82Etching with aquatint on Arches Cover paper with deckled edge

Image/plate size:  10 1/4 x 8 5/16 inches  (26 x 21.1 cm)
Paper size:  26 1/2 x 21 1/4 inches  (67.3 x 54 cm)
Edition of 18
Signed lower right and numbered lower left in graphite

Cul de Sac

Ellsworth KellyCul de Sac 1984One-color lithograph on Arches 88 paper

Image size:  35 5/8 x 49 3/8 inches  (90.5 x 125.4 cm)
Paper size:  42 5/8 x 56 5/8 inches  (108.3 x 143.8 cm)
Edition of 25
Signed, numbered and dated

String Bean Leaves III (Haricot Vert III)

Ellsworth KellyString Bean Leaves III (Haricot Vert III) 1965-1966Lithograph

Image/paper size:  35 5/8 x 24 1/2 inches  (90.5 x 62.2 cm)
Edition of 75
Signed ‘Kelly’ lower right, numbered lower left in graphite

Leaf V From the series Twelve Leaves

Ellsworth KellyLeaf V From the series Twelve Leaves 1978One-color lithograph

Edition of 20
Signed, titled and numbered ‘Kelly Leaf V AP 5/9’ lower right in pencil
Image/paper size:  30 x 42 inches  (76.2 x 106.7 cm)

Leaf X

Ellsworth KellyLeaf X 1978Lithograph

Image/paper size:  30 x 42 inches  (76.2 x 106.7 cm)
Edition of 20
Signed ‘Kelly’, numbered and titled lower right

Leaves

Ellsworth KellyLeaves 1978One-color lithograph

Image/paper size:  30 x 42 inches  (76.2 x 106.7 cm)
Edition of 30
Signed and numbered ‘Kelly AP 7/9’ lower right in graphite
(Inventory #29110)Inquire

Leaf III

Ellsworth KellyLeaf III 1978Lithograph

Image/paper size:  30 x 42 inches  (76.2 x 106.7 cm)
Edition of 20
Signed ‘Kelly’, numbered and titled lower right
(Inventory #26503)Inquire

Sunflower II

Ellsworth KellySunflower II 1995-2004Lithograph on Rives BFK wove paper

Image/paper size: 37 x 29 inches (94 x 73.7 cm)
Frame size: 40 1/4 x 32 1/4 inches (102.2 x 81.9 cm)
Edition of 60
Signed and numbered lower right in graphite
(Inventory #30610)

Wild Grape Leaves II

Ellsworth KellyWild Grape Leaves II 2004Lithograph

Image/paper size: 23 x 31 inches (58.4 x 78.7 cm)
Edition of 60
Signed and numbered lower right in graphite

Source:

https://www.krakowwitkingallery.com/artists/ellsworth_kelly/ https://www.moma.org/artists/3048