Ellsworth Kelly
March 4 – April 15, 2017

Leslie Sacks Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of graphic work by renowned artist, Ellsworth Kelly. The gallery offers an elegant presentation of its collection of three Ellsworth Kelly’s botanicals (1983-1985) and three curves (2002-2004).  These lithographs are an impeccable representation of Kelly’s mastery of minimal form and the contoured line.

Ellsworth Kelly’s botanical images are both graceful and striking. The artist began drawing plants during his time spent in Paris in the 1940s and continued the practice when he returned to New York. In 1970 The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibited 40 of his plant drawings in a landmark exhibition curated by Henry Geldzahler, cementing the importance of these botanical images in art history forever. Kelly used potted plants around his studio as studies for these lithographic images. Additionally, he found time to draw from nature during his extensive world travels. The contour line compositions are subtle yet extraordinary as they successfully toe the line between abstraction and representation. Kelly intentionally flattens shapes making no attempt for realism; yet the subjects are immediately recognizable. Though seemingly effortless, these botanicals are the result of arduous study and incredible attention to detail. These black and white stems, flowers, leaves and branches are natural objects captured in their purest form, their essence and nothing more. 

Ellsworth Kelly is perhaps best known for his iconic, colored curves. Beginning in the late 1940s, Kelly spent years in Paris where his contemporaries (Surrealist and Dadaists) and the architecture surrounding him provided inspiration. As the forefather of minimalism, Kelly was perfecting the art of precise line-work, impeccable use of negative space and streamlined contouring before anyone else. Conversely, in the curve lithographs Kelly floats dense, single colored curvilinear shapes on a stark white background. The margins are just as important as the shape. In these works, as well as the rest of his oeuvre, everything is thought out and premeditated. His graphic work exhibits a delicacy, which is not always present in his larger scale wall-works. Ellsworth Kelly’s works are held in the esteemed collections of nearly every modern and contemporary museum worldwide.

Leslie Sacks Gallery is located in the Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica 2525 Michigan Avenue, B6. Gallery hours are Tues-Fri 10-6, Sat 11-6. The gallery is online at lesliesacks.com. Email gallery@lesliesacks.com or call 310 264 0640.

Hi resolution jpeg’s available upon request.