22 January 2016

Something Ellsworth Kelly said

46 Colours for a Large Wall (1951) (via)
Ellsworth Kelly died last year. I wrote about his early work in an essay a few years back and have a certain fondness for his work, even though the paintings are very minimal indeed, and I don't understand them and am not that keen on the aesthetic. Probably my fondness - or perhaps openness is a better word - is due to a combination of coming across a book with photos of where he lives, and his home, feeling very immersed in that;

and the story about him going to art school on the GI Bill and then being in Paris, painting those squares of colour for a few years ... that was a new experience for him, and it was new for me to come across it. So there's a conjectured link.

And this quote, which I found on Sheila's blog, links up for me too. I've condensed the full quote to make it more minimal ...

"My eye picks up things ... but I’m not searching for something. I just find it ... and it always surprises me."

The two important words that I've left out are "in nature" - "My eye picks things up in nature". Seeing again the landscape where he lives, the nature that surrounds Spencertown, makes it important to remember that the ... replace those words (as well as others). He also says of "nature" - "something that has the magic of life". 

From the Colour Squares he moved on to large shaped canvases in solid colours. And works on paper like this -
... which I feel I "understand" and find interesting to look at. Not looking for anything, but finding surprises.

And satisfyingly simple drawings of plants ... look here.

And this surprising (or maybe not so surprising) spatial drawing (via) -


Charlton Stitcher said...

That quote is so pertinent for me right now - another slant on looking and seeing, this time, when you're not searching, and the surprise it brings ... and the need to reach for a camera.

The black and white is fascinating too. I too feel I 'understand' it in the sense that over time I've done so many 'griddings' of small croppings of images and played with them for best effect, almost always in black and white. I'm not sure what I'm doing when I do it, but I find the process pleasing and it brings me satisfaction.

apiecefullife said...

I love the plant drawings you linked to. Thanks.