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Ellsworth Kelly Prints Available at Gemini

Ellsworth Kelly Prints Created
at Gemini

Since 1970, Ellsworth Kelly has completed more than two hundred original lithographs, silkscreens, aquatints, etchings, and sculpture editions at the Gemini workshop. Working with prints has led the artist to new ideas in terms of surface treatment and gesture. His art, which appears to be non-referential, is deeply rooted in the world that surrounds us. Evidence of this may be seen in Kelly's fine art prints, such as his series of plant lithographs in which edges carefully define forms that are isolated, layered, and flattened.

Kelly distills and articulates the specific nature of form by emphasizing the physical nature of size, scale, weight, color, intensity, shape, edge, and mass. The chrome-plated steel Mirrored Concorde was his first editioned sculpture at Gemini. This work presented a powerful challenge to his collaborators in everything from the production of such a pristine reflective surface to the logistics of moving something so heavy. Maintaining the artist's broad flat color surfaces in his Painted Wall Sculptures was similarly difficult because the slightest variation threatened to drastically alter the integrity of the artist's decisions. The fabrication of Kelly's work has also pushed the limits of the workshop in prints as well as sculpture. His Purple/Red/Gray/Orange, at eighteen feet in length, may be the largest single-sheet lithograph ever made. In fact, fabrication was carried out only by keeping the paper partially rolled during the individual printing of each of the four different color shapes. On this monumental scale, Kelly's pure geometries have a presence and impact that have been previously realized only in his paintings. Kelly's work, which is constantly in the process of refinement and redefinition, continues to be a vital force at Gemini.

His recent editions, The River, States of the River and River II, reflect the fascination with water Kelly has had since his early days in Paris, where he often walked along the banks of the Seine River. During a visit to Basel, Switzerland in 2002, his attraction to water was again stimulated as he stood on the balcony of the Drei Konig Hotel, watching the swift currents of the Rhine River racing by. Since then, Ellsworth Kelly has returned to this motif in several series of limited edition prints. States of the River, a series of 8 lithographs, was first introduced at the Royal Academy in London in early June 2005, and the last of the "river" images, River II, was completed and signed by Kelly in July 2005.

Ellsworth Kelly Print: Untitled (Red), 2005  

Ellsworth Kelly
Prints Available

Gemini currently has a large selection of Ellsworth Kelly original limited edition prints available for purchase. Please browse our Current Availability List to view our inventory of signed and numbered Ellsworth Kelly original lithographs, etchings, silkscreen prints, and sculptures.

Ellsworth Kelly
Purple, 2001  
1 color lithograph

47" x 36"
Edition of 45

Ellsworth Kelly Biography

Ellsworth Kelly was born May 31, 1923, in Newburgh, New York. He studied at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, from 1941 to 1943. After military service from 1943 to 1945, he attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from 1946 to 1947. The following year, Kelly went to France and enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris under the G.I. Bill, although he attended classes infrequently. In France, he discovered Romanesque art
and architecture and Byzantine art. He was also introduced to Surrealism and Neo-Plasticism, which led him to experiment with automatic drawing and geometric abstraction.

In 1950, Kelly met Jean Arp and that same year began to make shaped-wood reliefs and collages in which elements were arranged according to the laws of chance. He soon began to make paintings in separate panels that can be recombined to produce alternate compositions, as well as multipanel paintings in which each canvas is painted a single color. During the 1950s, he traveled throughout France, where he met Constantin Brancusi, Alexander Calder, Alberto Magnelli, Francis Picabia, and Georges Vantongerloo, among other artists. His first solo show took place at the Galerie Arnaud, Paris, in 1951.

Kelly returned to the United States in 1954, living first in a studio apartment on Broad Street, and then at Coenties Slip in lower Manhattan where, over the years, his neighbors included Robert Indiana, Agnes Martin, Fred Mitchell, James Rosenquist, Lenore Tawney, and Jack Youngerman. Kelly continued to develop and expand the vocabulary of painting, exploring issues of form and ground with his flatly painted canvases. His first solo show in New York was held at the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1956, and three years later he was included in Sixteen Americans at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 1958, he also began to make freestanding sculptures. He moved out of Manhattan in 1970, set up a studio in Chatham, and a home in nearby Spencertown, New York.

Kelly’s extensive work has been recognized in numerous retrospective exhibitions. The first was held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1973. Others include a sculpture exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 1982; a travelling show of works on paper and fine art prints that traveled extensively in the United States and Canada from 1987–88; and a career retrospective of paintings, prints and sculptures organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York in 1996 which traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Tate Gallery, London; and the Haus der Kunst, Munich.

Ellsworth Kelly currently lives in Spencertown, New York where he continues to produce abstract paintings. He also continues to collaborate with Gemni G.E.L. in expanding his body of fine art prints.

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