Ellsworth Kelly and Cahiers d’Art: a special relationship
Portrait : photography by Michel Grinberg, 1953, courtesy of Ellsworth Kelly Studio
Ellsworth Kelly : the extraordinary observer of forms and abstractor of reality.
About the artist
Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015) was born in Newburgh, New York. In 1948 he moved to France, where he came into contact with a wide range of classical and modern art. He returned to New York in 1954 and two years later had his first exhibition at the Betty Parsons Gallery. The Museum of Modern Art in New York organized his first retrospective in 1973. Subsequent exhibitions have been held at museums around the world, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, Haus der Kunst in Munich, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He featured at Documenta on four occasions and exhibited twice in the U.S. pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
“While extremely diverse throughout the course of his long career, Ellsworth Kelly’s body of work remains perfectly coherent. Early on, since his time spent in Paris (1948-1954), he rebelled against the then fashionable cult of personal expression and established a number of anti-subjective strategies, allowing him to avoid constructing and imposing his own self (chance, transfer, modular grid, monochrome, unique form, harmony of figure and field). This arsenal of possibilities which he explored patiently and in a very intuitive way throughout his life, will be his Ariadne’s thread, the secret to his patience, his strength and his optimism. Ellsworth Kelly was the last happy modernist.”
Yve-Alain Bois, Specialist of Ellsworth Kelly