Ellsworth Kelly is most closely associated with the Hard-edge, Color Field, and Minimalist schools of painting. Born in 1923, outside New York City, his grandmother showed him an appreciation for nature through bird-watching which lead to his passion for form and color. His formal artistic training began at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, followed by use of the G.I. Bill for educational provisions that took Kelly to the School of the Museum of Fine Art in Boston then the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Upon his return to America, he was inspired by Ad Reinhardt and tried to integrate himself and his work into the new art scene. Unlike many of his peers, the work of Mr. Kelly was not praised at first. Betty Parsons Gallery gave him his first solo show in 1956 which paved the way for his inclusion at the Whitney Museum’s “Young America 1957” exhibition. His work is often criticized for its distant and serious nature, but he has nonetheless continued working devotedly to his style; a style described as “inner-directed.” His influences stem from Romanesque and Byzantine to Surrealism and Neoplasticism, as well as Matisse, Picasso, and Mondriaan. He currently lives and works in Spencertown, New York.
“The form of my painting is content. My work is made of single or multiple panels; rectangle, curved or square. I am less interested in marks on the panels than the presence of the panels themselves…they were made to exist in the present, it is an idea and can be repeated anytime in the future”
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