by Kelly, Ellsworth (American, b. 1923)
Categorized in Print

Another postwar veteran amongst the colorfield painters, Kelly lived in Paris after the war and studied art courtesy of the G.I. Bill. While living in Paris, he was inspired by the reflection of an arched bridge in water. This inspiration led to his now familiar hard-edge painting style that is about pure form and undetailed color. Kelly combined his interest in nature with the Constructivist tradition of mathematical principles. The result is a sort of visual shorthand that comments on our surroundings through abstract shapes. Kelly has received numerous awards for his work and recently had a retrospective of his work in well-known museums in New York, Los Angeles, London and Munich. His works are included in private collections and museums throughout the world. One of his most recent awards was the 1998 New York Governor?s Arts Award. In this 1970 silkscreen work titled Yellow/Black, Kelly uses shapes in bold colors to enclose in a rectangular format. At the time that he produced these works, the critics expressed their view that Kelly was introducing a sensuousness into contemporary art. Some observers are able to feel the unrelenting sexual tension lying beneath the surface of these rectangularly formatted works.

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