Ellsworth Kelly
Blue Curve (State III)
1988

Price Upon Request

About

Printer: Gemini G.E.L.
Publisher: Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles
Edition size: 15, plus proofs
Catalogue raisonné: Axsom 220
Signed in pencil, lower margin

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Dimensions
    37.5 in. H x 84 in. W
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    LU791640983

About Ellsworth Kelly (Artist)

Ellsworth Kelly was one of the key figures in postwar American art, exercising major influence on the fields of Pop art, minimalism, Color-Field, and hard-edge painting. Widely known for his brightly colored geometric compositions, he was among the first artists, alongside his contemporary Frank Stella, to use irregularly shaped canvases. Although highly abstract, Kelly’s paintings are precise expressions in color and form of his sensory experience of the world. His works, both two- and three-dimensional, are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and displayed at such sites as the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Kelly grew up in the town of Newburgh, New York, near the Oradell Reservoir. He was an avid birder as a child and loved the colorful illustrations of naturalist John James Audubon. Encouraged to study art by a high school teacher, he enrolled at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, remaining there until 1943, when he was inducted into the army. During World War II, he served along with scores of other artists, in a unit known as the Ghost Army, where he learned the elements of camouflage while creating ersatz trucks and tanks intended to mislead Axis forces.

When the war was over, Kelly took advantage of the G.I. Bill to study painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, drawing inspiration from the museum's collections, and, later, at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, in Paris. While in France, he immersed himself in the varied artistic movements and styles represented there and befriended Americans avant-gardists, such as composer John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham, as well as the German-French Surrealist Jean Arp and Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuși.

Upon his return to the United States, in 1954, he found himself at odds with the dominant style of the period, Abstract Expressionism, which favored a dynamic and energetic application of paint in a loose manner. Like Stella, Kelly was interested in formal precision and explorations of color. Following an exhibition of his work at the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1956, Kelly’s work was included in the "Young America 1957” show at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

During the 1960s, Kelly played with color and form to tease out and celebrate the tension between a painting’s subject and its background. In one of his most famous works, the 1963 Red Blue Green, for example, two shapes, one red, one blue, both contrast and resonate with a green background that extends to the edge of the canvas on both sides, appearing at moments to be the work’s primary shape. To explore this relationship between form and ground further, Kelly began using nontraditional, shaped canvases, as in the monochromatic 1966 Yellow Piece, from, whose two curved corners draws the eye to the wall behind it, as though the gallery wall itself were part of the composition. A lithograph from the same period, Blue and Orange consists of two shapes in the title’s complementary colors facing off against one another with a tension that makes them appear almost animated.

Kelly made drawings and prints throughout his career, using plants and flowers as his primary source of inspiration. Like his paintings, his drawings tend to be relatively flat in perspective, but they are rarely abstract. This 1993 drawing of an oak leaf is clearly representational, but rendered with very minimal color and line. In the mid-1960s, he produced the series “Suite of Twenty-Seven Lithographs” with the Paris-based Maeght Éditeur.

Later, collaborating with Gemini G.E.L., he created very large-scale works, such as 1988’s Purple/Red/Gray/Orange, which is 18 feet long and might be one of the biggest lithographs ever made. Kelly produced 140 sculptures, including the aluminum White Curves, created for the Fondation Beyeler, in Riehen, Switzerland, in 2002. In his three-dimensional works, as in his paintings, Kelly used form, color and light to play with perceptions of surface and depth, inviting viewers to look closely and see the world in a new way.

About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2011

Typical response time: 22 hours

Located in New York, NY

Associations:
  • International Fine Print Dealers Association
  • Art Dealers Association of America

More from this Seller

Ellsworth Kelly Black/Yellow, 1972
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Ellsworth Kelly Red-Orange over Blue, 1965
Red-Orange over Blue
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Ellsworth Kelly Camellia II, 1965
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Ellsworth Kelly Black over Yellow, 1964
Black over Yellow
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Lithograph
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Ellsworth Kelly Light Blue with Orange, 1965
Light Blue with Orange
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Lithograph
Sheet size: 35 1/4 x 23 5/8 inches Printer: Imprimerie Maeght, Levallois-Perret, France Publisher: Maeght Editeur, Paris Edition size: 75, plus proofs Catalogue raisonné: Axsom 14 ...
Ellsworth Kelly Camellia III, 1964
Camellia III
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Lithograph
Printer: Imprimerie Arte, Paris Publisher: Maeght Editeur, Paris Catalogue raisonné: Axsom 43 Signed and numbered in pencil, lower margin
Ellsworth Kelly Blue Yellow Red, 1970
Blue Yellow Red
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Lithograph
Printer: Gemini G.E.L. Publisher: Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles Edition size: 75, plus proofs Catalogue raisonné: Axsom 61 Signed and numbered in pencil, lower margin
Ellsworth Kelly Blue and Green over Orange, 1965
Blue and Green over Orange
Ellsworth Kelly
Lithograph
Printer: Imprimerie Arte, Paris Publisher: Maeght Editeur, Paris Edition size: 75, plus proofs Catalogue raisonné: Axsom 29 Signed and numbered in pencil, lower margin
Ellsworth Kelly Dark Blue with Red, 1965
Dark Blue with Red
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Lithograph
Printer: Imprimerie Maeght, Levallois-Perret Publisher: Maeght Editeur, Paris Catalogue raisonné: Axsom 10 Edition size: 75, plus proofs Signed and numbered in pencil, lower margin...
Ellsworth Kelly Orange and Blue over Yellow, 1965
Orange and Blue over Yellow
Ellsworth Kelly
Lithograph
Printer: Imprimerie Maeght, Levallois-Perret, France Publisher: Maeght Editeur, Paris Edition size: 75, plus proofs Catalogue raisonné: Axsom 30 Signed and numbered, lower margin
Ellsworth Kelly Dark Gray Curve, 1988
Dark Gray Curve
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Lithograph
Printer: Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles Publisher: Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles Edition size: 25 Catalogue raisonné: Axsom 225 Signed and numbered, lower margin
Ellsworth Kelly Colored Paper Image XI (Gray Curves with Brown), 1976
Colored Paper Image XI (Gray Curves with Brown)
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Other Medium
Medium: Colored and pressed paper pulp Printer: Tyler Graphics Ltd. Publisher: Tyler Graphics, Mt. Kisco, NY Edition size: 18, plus proofs Catalogue raisonné: Axsom 151 Signed and numbe...