|Ellsworth Kelly "Great" painting.|
New York Times critic, Roberta Smith, reviewing the current Kelly exhibits, said:
"Now the New York art world is treating him, and us, to a big party. His boldly colored, emblematic paintings and reliefs can be seen in five exhibitions around town. In unusually gorgeous terms, they attest to a lifelong fusion of austerity and high spirits, and a narrow yet deep exploration of pure colors and simple shapes."
|Kelly -- Museum of Modern Art, NY|
The rooms in all the major museums throughout the world, are filled with paintings similar to what's being displayed at the Museum of Modern Art.
What about Kelly's lithographs, block prints, and etchings of plants?
Sheet Size: 37 x 29 inches
Signed and dated.
Perhaps Kelly's drawings of plants and flowers could be considered "erotic" in the sense that they arouse in the viewer strong feelings. They're done in clean strokes of pencil or pen and can been seen in Kelly's "Suite of Twenty-Seven Lithographs" that has grown into 72 prints and countless drawings of foliage.
They don't thrill me; they're not hard to focus on, but they don't evoke much of anything in my heart and soul other than the word "nice."
Nor does Kelly's sculpture. He has made 30 sculptures in
wood throughout his career -- at total of 140 sculptures. The sculpture in the photograph, is called "White Curves." It's made of white aluminum and decorates the garden of the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, Switzerland.
Finding myself uneasy because there are references to this artist being inspired by Monet, I researched, and learned that Kelly hung out with with composer John Cage and dancer Merce Cuningham, both well-known for serial music and serial choreography.
As I read on, I learned more about Kelly's style. All the art critics praise him to the skies, his abstractions, his vision of life in terms of colors and shapes.
The very articulate NY Times critic said -- "Mr. Kelly has spent much of his career romancing the vaunted monochrome in Modernist painting. He has approached this absolute without reverence or irony; it is simply the main building block of his art ... The results are not so much paintings as crisp, flat objects devoid of spatial illusion. Yet the best of them are so perfectly made that we tend to forget about their physical nature, concentrating solely on their visual effects instead. Their perfection creates an aura of eternal newness that can sometimes seem antiseptic but just as often is central to their power."
And I just blink and sort of skim Kelly's art.
Okay, I was connected to Modern Dance, as a choreographer, but I created movement that related to ballet, not Merce Cunningham or Martha Graham. My taste in painters and painting isn't classical or any era or any one style. I like Monet, Chagall, Gauguin, and Picasso -- Pablo Picasso's mixture of color, dream-like fantasy -- his distortions of reality create abstractions that I can't explain with words, but enjoy studying again and again.
I find it difficult to find significance, or beauty, or any reason to focus for more than a minute on Kelly's work. That's why I kept looking.
Wow -- I finally found this.
What Ellsworth Kelly himself says -- what he explained here, enables me to see his art -- not just skim it and toss it out the window -- take time and see it -- SEE IT, and like it.