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Title

Ellsworth Kelly, Black Curve (1962)

Author

Walker Art Center

Date

2002

Institution Walker Art Center
"If you can turn off the mind and look at things only with your eyes, ultimately everything becomes abstract."--Ellsworth Kelly, 1992

Since very early in his career, Ellsworth Kelly's painting, prints, drawings, and sculptures have been uncompromisingly abstract. His simple compositions often consist merely of a few hard-edged shapes and pure color, bearing little apparent resemblance to the "real" world of modulated colors and irregular forms. Yet many of his works are directly related to forms from the real world. The shape of a roof against blue sky, the shadow cast by an open barn door, the folded plastic lid of a Styrofoam coffee cup--all have served as models for his works. Although it appears completely abstract, and even unemotional, Kelly's art is in fact dependent on his love of looking at what is in the world. According to the artist, "The things I'm interested in have always been there. The idea of a shadow of a natural object has always existed, like the shadow of the pyramids and the pyramids, or a rock and shadow; I'm not interested in the texture of the rock, or that it is a rock, but in the mass of it, and its shadow."

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Type: Commentary, curriculum resource
Source: Text for Ellsworth Kelly, Black Curve (1962), from the curriculum guide So, Why Is This Art?, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2002.
Rights: Copyright 2002 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: March 1, 2009