Ellsworth Kelly: The Years in France 1948-1954 (Art & Design)

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9783791311890: Ellsworth Kelly: The Years in France 1948-1954 (Art & Design)
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In the late 1950s, Ellsworth Kelly emerged as a major figure in the vanguard of so-called "Hard Edge" New York abstraction. Noted for their articulate, sharply contoured planes, unified perspective, and shifting balances between foreground and background, Kelly's works expanded the language of both figuration and abstraction, establishing him as one of the leading postwar American artists.
Earlier in his career, Kelly had spent six years in France, from 1948 to 1954, a time that proved decisive to the evolution of his art. Sponsored by the G. I. Bill, the artist closely studied contemporary and historical art, architecture and culture in Paris and various regions of France, as well as meeting with several other European and American artists. These were all critical stimuli at a time when Kelly was developing his distinct mature style.
Published in connection with an exhibition co-organized by the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., this scintillating volume presents the first complete and accurate portrait of this pivotal stage in Kelly's career, drawing on previously unpublished work and observations by the artist. Excerpts from interviews and correspondence, and a chronicle of the artist's activities are included. The essays address the creative and interpretive issues of Kelly's work in relation to modern abstraction, his use of the "chance" and the modular grid, and the role of his photographs in recording motifs in nature.
This volume reproduces for the first time all Kelly's paintings and low-relief sculpture of the period, as well as a selection of his earlier paintings done in New Jersey and Boston. A number of his photographs, drawings, sketchbooks, and collages are also featured. Comparative illustrations include portraits of his artist friends, photographs of Paris, and works by Matisse, Picasso, and others.
Ironically, Kelly sold only one painting during his years in Paris although he participated in several avant-garde exhibitions. Yet the achievements of this period are recognized today as Kelly's first important works and have clearly established his international reputation.

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Published to accompany a major exhibition at the National Gallery in Washington, this book reproduces all works in the show in full color. The reproductions are augmented by Kelly's preliminary sketches and black-and-white photographs taken by the artist to document the sources of these works, as well as an illustrated appendix detailing Kelly's work in America from 1940 to 1948. The three essays in this volume by noted modern art historians explore Kelly's early work in France and its impact on his later work. Complementary textual matter includes a chronology of Kelly's early career, detailed notes on each of the paintings executed in France, and an extensive bibliography. Recommended for art libraries and strong collections of American or contemporary art.-- Martin R. Kalfatovic, Natl. Museum of American Art/Natl. Portrait Gallery Lib., Smithsonian Inst., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780894681851: Ellsworth Kelly: The Years in France, 1948-1954

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ISBN 10:  0894681850 ISBN 13:  9780894681851
Publisher: Natl Gallery of Art, 1992
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