Ellsworth Kelly

Black Form from Portfolio 9 , 1967

Artwork Type: Prints
Medium: Lithograph on Rives BFK paper
Dimensions: 17 x 22 in. (43.18 x 55.88 cm)
Accession #: 19670074
Department: Art Council
Credit: Collection of University Art Museum, University at Albany, State University of New York on behalf of University at Albany Foundation , Purchase of Art Council
Object Label:
Exploring structure and mass unencumbered by the gestures of action painting, Ellsworth Kelly’s abstract paintings and prints are the paragon of hard-edged abstraction. Similarly to Minimalists like Donald Judd, Kelly removed all anthropomorphic traces from his artwork. This lithograph relates to his “figure/ground” series of paintings from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, a time during which he worked in Manhattan’s Coentities Slip alongside artists including Chryssa and Agnes Martin. Dissolving the distinction between figure and ground, Kelly resolved the problem of illusionistic space that had hitherto plagued even the most abstract works of two-dimensional art. This lithograph can be read as a black shape on a white ground and simultaneously as an opening in a white surface revealing a black background. Ultimately these contradictory readings cancel each other out and establish the surface to be a single unit consisting of two shapes interlocking like puzzle pieces.
When We Were Young: Rethinking Abstraction From The University At Albany Art Collections (1967-Present)

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