Ellsworth Kelly: Shape & Color

Ellsworth Kelly- Works on Paper- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico
“Shape and color are my two strong things,” said Ellsworth Kelly (1923-2015). The New York artist’s position on his own work was as simple as that, but his influence on 20th century art was considerably more complex. Kelly was a key player in the evolution of hard-edge painting, Color Field painting, minimalism, and Pop Art, though he never willingly assumed the mantle of a particular movement. Quietly and diligently, he observed the built environment around him and captured his shifting perceptions on canvas and paper.

Kelly’s lithograph Blue and Orange and Green is poetic in its simplicity, a visual haiku consisting of three echoed forms in bright hues. “I wanted to give people joy,” Kelly said. His print, which is new to the Zane Bennett Contemporary Art Collection, is sure to brighten your day—and perhaps your living room.

Above: Ellsworth Kelly, Phaidon.

Ellsworth Kelly- Blue and Orange and Green- Lithograph- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Ellsworth Kelly
Blue and Orange and Green
lithograph
25 x 13.75 in.

Click here to browse the complete Zane Bennett Contemporary Art collection.

Ellsworth Kelly in Blue.

Ellsworth Kelly Portrait- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico
“I think that if you can turn off the mind and look only with the eyesultimately everything becomes abstract,” said Ellsworth Kelly (1923 – 2015). Kelly’s abstraction is rooted in the real world. His strong sense of form and color has often been tied to his time in the military, affinity for bird watching, and observations of nature. Although simplistic in imagery, Kelly’s work holds a certain tension. “I think what we all want from art is a sense of fixity, a sense of opposing the chaos of daily living,” said Kelly. “This an illusion, of course. Canvas rots. Paint changes color. In a sense, what I’ve tried to capture is the reality of flux, to keep art an open, incomplete situation, to get at the rapture ofseeing.”

Kelly was a pioneer of Color Field painting and minimalism whose influence extends across the second half the 20th century to the present.This is exemplified by the story behind Kelly’s Untitled (1983), a hand-signed lithograph that was included in the Eight by Eight to Celebrate the Temporary Contemporary suite. The portfolio features artwork by eight prominent artists, and was used as a fundraising vehicle for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles. The artists who participated were Kelly, Richard Diebenkorn, Sam Francis, David Hockney, Robert Rauschenberg, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely, and Andy Warhol. This iconic collection is a testament to the cultural milieu of the United States in the 1980’s. This is a rare opportunity to own a piece of this illustrious history.

Photo Credit: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Ellsworth Kelly- Color Lithograph- Eight by Eight- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Ellsworth Kelly
Untitled (Eight by Eight to Celebrate the Temporary Contemporary)
color lithograph
29 x 41 in.
year: 1983

Click here to browse the complete Zane Bennett Contemporary Art collection.

Sol LeWitt’s Emblemata Series.

Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) is regarded as a founder of both Minimal and Conceptual art. His prolific two and three-dimensional oeuvre includes wall drawings (over 1200 of which have been executed), hundreds of works on paper, and structures in the form of towers, pyramids, geometric forms, and progressions. He’s also known for his postcard correspondence with famous contemporaries such as Eva Hesse and On Kawara.

For his Emblemata series of monotypes from 2000, LeWitt experimented with yet another medium: the book. Maurizio Londei of the Italian imprint Edizioni Essegi challenged LeWitt and other artistic titans, such as Richard Long and Pier Paolo Calzolari, to “transpose their emblematic essence” into print portfolios. The idea was for the artist to create an “ideal volume” that could serve as a direct conduit between artist and viewer, passing vital knowledge between them. LeWitt responded to this challenge with a series of 15 monotypes bearing his idiosyncratic two-toned palette and iconic, exuberant squiggle forms. The series doesn’t incorporate words nor is it bound, but it’s nonetheless successful as a late-career “text” bearing all the wisdom of LeWitt’s long and illustrious career. Scroll down to view prints from the series, and click here to browse all of the images. The Emblemata series is exclusively available as a complete set.

Sol LeWitt- Emblemata Print Series- Monotypes- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Sol LeWitt
Emblemata
monotype, 11.25 x 22.37 in
2000

Sol LeWitt- Emblemata Print Series- Monotypes- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Sol LeWitt- Emblemata Print Series- Monotypes- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico

Sol LeWitt- Emblemata Print Series- Monotypes- Zane Bennett Contemporary Art- Santa Fe New Mexico