Ellsworth Kelly, Artist Who Mixed European Abstraction Into Everyday Life, Dies at 92 


Holland Cotter reports: Ellsworth Kelly, who in the years after World War II shaped a distinctive style of American painting by combining the solid shapes and brilliant colors of European abstraction with forms drawn from everyday life, died on Sunday. He was 92.

His death was announced by Matthew Marks of the Matthew Marks Gallery in Manhattan.

Mr. Kelly’s simple shapes and flat colors — which he sometimes relegated to separate panels — were an important departure form the fussier geometric abstraction, heavily influenced by Mondrian, that most American abstract painters were pursuing at the end of the 1940s. His work was startlingly clean and airy, its plainness creating a bold sense of scale.

[Read the full story here, at The New York Times]

Often his paintings consisted of only two colored shapes. Their contrasts could be stark — blue and yellow, or red and white — or subtle, as with two shades of gray. He derived spatial tension from gently curving the edges of shapes, pitting them against the straight edges of the canvas. But he also made some of the first shaped canvases of the postwar period.

Stressing the object quality of his paintings led him almost seamlessly to sculpture simply by freeing his shapes from the wall. The simplicity, flat color and separate panels of Kelly’s work, as well as…(read more)

Source: The New York Times

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