New York Drawings 1954-1962
From one of today’s most revered artists, this exquisite volume explores a critical facet of Ellsworth Kelly’s development as an abstractionist.
Since the 1940s Ellsworth Kelly has developed a unique vocabulary of abstraction based on the observation of nature and the world around him. This book brings to light a key moment in Kelly’s artistic evolution, featuring gorgeous reproductions of works on paper in a variety of media, including ink, graphite, oil paint, and collage. Made in the years after Kelly returned to New York from Paris, where he lived after World War II studying on the GI Bill, these works are modest in scale, with no dimension larger than 20 inches. Yet these are crucial pieces that further the innovative visual vocabulary Kelly began to develop during his years in France. Kelly has returned to these drawings repeatedly, transforming them into large-scale paintings and sculptures—even as recently as 2013, on the cusp of his 90th birthday. Richard Shiff’s penetrating essay places these works in the context of Kelly’s groundbreaking oeuvre, offering perceptive insights into the artist’s technique, vision, and place in the pantheon of modern masters.