Lilt, Joy and Clarity: The Footprints of Ellsworth Kelly (Photo Story)


File name: Installation image. Ellsworth Kelly. Blue Curve, 2013. Ellsworth Kelly. Red curve, 2013.jpg
File name: Ellsworth Kelly. Dartmouth, 2011.jpg Image courtesy of Gemini GEL, Los Angeles and Zeit Contemporary Art, New York
File name: Installation image. Ellsworth Kelly. Blue Curve, 2013. Ellsworth Kelly. Red Curve, 2013.jpg Image courtesy of Gemini GEL, Los Angeles and Zeit Contemporary Art, New York
File name: Ellsworth Kelly. Concorde V, 1981-82.jpg Image courtesy of Zeit Contemporary Art, New York
File name: Ellsworth Kelly. Jaune Rouge-Orange, 1970. Frame.jpg Image courtesy of Zeit Contemporary Art, New York
File name: Ellsworth Kelly. Rouge, 2003. Framed image courtesy of Zeit Contemporary Art, New York
File name: Ellsworth Kelly. River II, 2005., 2. Image courtesy of Gemini GEL, Los Angeles and Zeit Contemporary Art, New York

Online viewing room, from October 14, 2021 to January 16, 2022

New York, NY. October 14, 2021. Zeit Contemporary Art is pleased to present Lilt, Joy and Clarity: Ellsworth Kelly’s Footprints, an online viewing room organized in close collaboration with Gemini GEL, visible until January 16, 2022.

Ellsworth Kelly (1923 – 2015) is arguably unmatched in his simple yet vibrant language, instantly recognizable on any medium. This showroom focuses on his prints which, as Richard H. Axsom argues in the catalog raisonné, perhaps encapsulates Kelly’s goals and aesthetics even more than his paintings and sculptures: the prints, distraction-free under the form of a medium or three dimensionality, embody Kelly’s simplified emphasis on form, color, surface and ground as well as her interest in pristine surfaces and the importance of negative space.

After serving in World War II in the Camouflage Unit, an experience that undoubtedly influenced him artistically, Kelly perfected his abstract formalistic aesthetic in Paris from 1948 to 1954, abandoning his earlier forays into the figuration. While he sporadically follows courses at the School of Fine Arts, his real artistic training was constituted by direct exposure to the art of Henri Matisse, Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Joan Miró and Constantin Brancusi. Matisse’s use of color and Brancusi’s use of form in particular had a great impact on the artist. While Kelly’s formalist works are often compared to minimalism and sharp geometric abstraction, her artistic project occupies a unique place in relation to these movements both because it preceded them and because her inspiration is always gone. of shapes found in nature.

Along with many of her contemporaries, Kelly began exploring printmaking in the mid-1960s. Any discussion of her impressions is careless without mentioning the importance of her collaboration with Gemini GEL Gemini was Kelly’s studio of choice in because of their adventurous yet determined philosophy, resulting in numerous technological innovations to create prints tailored to Kelly’s unique specifications. As evidenced by the works included in this viewing room, Kelly was very demanding and particular when it came to choosing and mixing colors. When proofing a print titled Black brown, it ultimately took three printers and several gallons of ink five days to create the perfect shade of brown for the artist. Kelly also went above and beyond when it came to printing more monumental sized works. In the late 1980s, while working on the expansion Purple Red Gray Orange lithographic series, Kelly decided he wanted to create a print 225 inches long. As the press bed was barely 102 inches tall, Kelly and the printers found the solution to create 4 separate prints of each of the shapes and then combine them; this print was one of the largest art lithographs ever made. This lithograph has no equivalent in painting, revealing Kelly’s pleasure in the medium in itself.

This viewing room in particular is largely concerned with Kelly’s later prints while simultaneously providing a cohesive perspective on key aspects of her practice. While Colored panels, Colored square I, and Dartmouth reveal Kelly’s pleasure in chance through the playful arrangement of colors, Red curve and Blue curve express the judicious choice of the color and the love of the form which undermines its artwork. River II is a most interesting and unique print. As art critic Dave Hickey points out in an essay accompanying an exhibition of the Rivers series in Gemini, all of the prints in this series illustrate Kelly’s media interests throughout her artistic career in that they present a grand scale as in her paintings, a sense of texture as in her sculptures in steel and weathered wood, collage as in its early years, chance through their random combination of patterns, and, finally, the preponderant relationship to nature which maintains all of his artistic production.

“We are delighted to provide this unique vision of Ellsworth Kelly as an engraver in conjunction with Gemini GEL, whose lithography studios in Los Angeles have become Kelly’s laboratory for expanding the possibilities of the medium. Kelly belongs to a generation of post-war artists who understood art beyond the traditional constraints of easel painting. It is fascinating to see how this vision has fueled his interest in making over 300 prints throughout his career, ”says art historian Joan Robledo-Palop, founder and CEO of Zeit Contemporary Art. “For Kelly, making a good impression involved a series of intuitive decisions about shape, color, the relationship of color to shape, and the relationship of the colored shape to the field of paper on which it rests. We are delighted with this collaboration with Zeit Contemporary Art as well as the interest of the new generations in the work of Ellsworth Kelly ”, explains Joni Weyl, co-owner of Gemini GEL. This viewing room thus serves as an ode to Kelly and Gemini GEL and the collaborations that led to these enduring works of art.

About Zeit Contemporary Art

Founded in 2016, Zeit Contemporary Art is a firm specializing in modern, post-war and contemporary art, located at 590 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10022. Its mission is deeply committed to understanding the art as a complex cultural whole. object that defines the time and space where it is created. Zeit Contemporary Art holds four carefully curated exhibitions per year, both on contemporary artists and on historical projects. In addition, the firm represents the work of pioneering artists and offers a unique service of private sales of museum quality works.

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Key words:
abstract prints, art collector, prints collection, Ellsworth Kelly., Joy and Clarity: The Prints of Ellsworth Kelly, Lilt, prints

The press release and photographs are courtesy of the gallery and the artists.

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