Red Yellow Blue
31 x 30 1/2 in.
Edition of 40
Pencil signed and numbered
About the work:
Ellsworth Kelly’s works emphasize the basics of color, form, and shape. He is considered one of the great American artists of the 20th century for his pioneering works in hard-edge minimalism and colorful abstraction that explored the essence of their subjects.
Kelly spent time in Paris in the late 40s where he became influenced by Picasso and Matisse. Upon his return to New York, he carved out his own niche, paring down architecture, images and other visuals, turning them into abstractions. Using basic colors, he created statements that were “less descriptive than evocative.” Compared to other artists of his generation, Kelly’s works are far simpler.
His works take time to look at because what they portray is reduced to the basics, but they are all depictions of something we have already seen, and Kelly invites us to see what he sees.
This week’s Work of the Week! WOW! is Red Yellow Blue.
Red Yellow Blue is based on a painting created in 1963 which is part of the Marguerite and Amié Maeght Foundation collection. The Galerie Maeght was an avid supporter of Kelly’s work, giving him his first solo exhibition in 1958. The artist spent the summer of 1963 with the Maeght family at their residence in Saint-Paul de Vence and Red Yellow Blue is inspired from his walks in the flower and vegetable gardens of the estate. The colors are reduced to the three primary colors, flatly applied without any nuance or value. Once the subject of the work is identified, it is easy to see that the work is a bird’s eye view of a well-manicured French garden.