167. Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly
Black Curve I (White Curve I) (from First Curve Series 1973)
Signed lower right and numbered 40/49 lower left (there were also 9 artist’s proofs)
Published and printed by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles (with their blindstamps)
Lithograph with graphite hand additions on Arjomari paper, 66 x 66 cm (plate size) / 86.4 x 86.4 cm (sheet size)
Collection Geertjan Visser (1931-2010), Retie, acquired directly from the artist, thence by descent
– Gemini G.E.L. 462
– Richard Axsom 100
Geertjan Visser (1931-2010) was, together with his brother Martin (1922-2009), one of the main and most influential collectors of his generation in the Netherlands. Today, the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo houses over 400 works from their impressive collection, including works by artists like Lucio Fontana, Anselm Kiefer, and Bruce Nauman. The renowned ‘Collection Visser’ also includes art by the third brother, the successful sculptor Carel Visser (1928-2015).

American artist Ellsworth Kelly is universally recognised as one of the most important purveyors of American abstraction. Born in New York, he spent a good part of the 1950s in France, absorbing the lessons of Joan Miró, Constantin Brancusi, and Henri Matisse. With Kelly’s return to the States, he abandoned figuration and easel painting, choosing instead to develop a vocabulary of simple geometric shapes and swatches of pure, vibrant colour.

Black Curve is a superb example of the artist’s signature style, which also features shapes on a pure white ground. Despite the association of Kelly’s work with bold colour, black has featured prominently in his paintings and sculptures, for example in the black-patinated bronzes and painted metal sculpture. More than half of his prints are black-and-white compositions, the palette alluding to “the classic printed image” and nodding to the importance of monochrome in the history of printmaking.

In the words of catalogue raisonné author Richard Axsom, Kelly’s prints “exchange the totemic presence, the tangible physicality and public assertiveness of the paintings and sculptures for the qualities no less genuine in registering Kelly’s vision: intimacy, delicacy, and in nearly immaterial veils of shape and colour, an unmatched ethereality.”
* Condition report available upon request

€ 2.000 - 4.000
€ 4.000