ELLSWORTH KELLY "COLORED PAPER XVI", 1976

Ellsworth Kelly (1923 - 2015) is one of the masters of American minimalism.

He is collected internationally and renowned for his signature hypnotic shapes realized in single saturated colors. 

Like many artists who had served in the US military during WWII, Kelly took advantage of the G.I. Bill and moved to Paris to study art in the late 1940s only to return to the US in 1954.

Kelly was one of the first artists, along with Frank Stella, to use oddly shaped canvases and contributed to the nascent genre of Minimalism. 

Similar to Stella, Kelly began to explore printmaking in the late 1960s and it became an essential part of his practice. Like many of his contemporaries (such as Kenneth Noland and Louise Nevelson) he was enchanted by handmade and pulp papers and experimented with this new development in printmaking. 

MoMA's website explains: ...this series was created by ladling colored paper pulp into plastic and metal forms and then applying the pressure of the printing press to fuse the colored pulp to a wet sheet of paper. These prints retain the basic characteristics of Kelly's work: his vocabulary of geometric shapes, curves, and arcs, and his brilliant color. However, this project also marks a departure for the artist in several ways. The bleed of the wet paper pulp prevents the shapes from achieving a clean edge, while the tactile texture of the handmade paper and pulp introduces a new variability of surface. Further, the unpredictable nature of the materials allows chance to enter into Kelly's highly controlled working process. The result is significant variations between impressions within each edition."

While Ellsworth Kelly's prints have become some of the most valuable works on the secondary market, these small editions from the mid 1970's are incredibly sought-after by collectors around the world. 

Kelly's work can be found in every major American museum's permanent collection in addition to the MoMA (New York), the Centre Pompidou (Paris) the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid), Tate Modern (London) and the National Gallery (Ottawa). Click here to see the entire series of 21 works from the "Colored Paper Images" at the MoMA

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"Colored Paper Image XVI (Blue Yellow Red)", 1976

Colored and pressed paper pulp

Signed and numbered by the artist

From an edition of 25 

32"H 31"W (sheet)

41"H 39.5"W (frame)

Printed by Tyler Graphics Ltd., Bedford, New York

Provenance: Susan Sheehan Gallery

Very good condition

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