Ellsworth Kelly
Cupecoy
1984

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

About

Black (aluminium - tusche wash)
frame size 59 1/2 x 51 1/2
signed bottom left

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Dimensions
    58 in. H x 50 in. W
  • Seller Location
    Santa Fe, NM
  • Reference Number
    LU1281941123

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 2012

Typical response time: 16 hours

Located in Santa Fe, NM

More from this Seller

A Well Painted Strelizia
A Well Painted Strelizia
Jim Dine
Oil Paint, Etching
Handcolored Etching (Blue & Green) Signed and numbered from the edition of 33 unframed Literature: D'Oench & Fineburg 73
Untitled 3
Untitled 3
James Havard
Aquatint
James Havard 1937 Born in Galveston, TX 1959 Sam Houston State College, Huntsville, TX 1965 Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA Currently resides in Santa Fe, ...
A Well Painted Strelizia
A Well Painted Strelizia
Jim Dine
Etching
Edition 11/12 Handcolored Etching (Grey & Pink) Signed bottom left unframed
Salon of a Thousand Souls
Salon of a Thousand Souls
James Drake
James Drake’s videos, drawings, sculptures, poetry, and installations reflect his understanding of Man’s place in nature and the presumptions and the psychological struggle that often r...
Flower II
Flower II
Donald Baechler
Etching
Donald Baechler (American, b.1956) is a celebrated and internationally recognized contemporary artist. His work is usually rendered in a style that combines both innocence and sophistic...
Serie "Eye(s)" bleu
Serie "Eye(s)" bleu
Manuel Amorim
Woodcut Print
ed 5 of 63 color block print on Rives BFK MANUEL AMORIM Born in Lisbon, Portugal, 1950. -1969 Moved to France -1971-86 Lives in Paris -1969-71 Studies in "...
Night Venus and Sappho, 3/15
Night Venus and Sappho, 3/15
Jim Dine
Lithograph
Ed. 3/15, printed in white on black Arches paper, with hand painting, framed, etching, drypoint and photogravure, with watercolor Frame size: 48 x 38 1/2 in. Paper size: 44 x 36 in. ...
Reflections X
Reflections X
Helen Frankenthaler
Lithograph
A second-generation Abstract Expressionist painter, Helen Frankenthaler became active in the New York School of the 1950s, initially influenced by artists like Arshile Gorky, Willem de ...
Untitled
Untitled
Mark di Suvero
A prolific and intrepid sculptor, Mr. di Suvero's bold, dynamic works have punctuated landscapes and urban environments for close to a half-century. His arresting pieces have consistent...
Soviet/ American Array IV
Soviet/ American Array IV
Robert Rauschenberg
Aquatint
Intaglio in 9 colors
Earth Day
Earth Day
Robert Rauschenberg
Color silkscreen and color pochoir on wove paper. Pencil signed dated and editioned 15/75; lower right. Published by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles CA. Sheet Size: 64.25""h x 42.75""w overa...
Soviet/ American Array V, ed. 18/55
Soviet/ American Array V, ed. 18/55
Robert Rauschenberg
Intaglio in 7 colors