Born in New York in 1923, Ellsworth Kelly studied at the Pratt Institute before serving in France during World War II. His time in France had a profound effect on him, and after the war he studied for two years at the Boston Museum School. In 1948 he returned to France and studied at the Ecole des Beaux–Arts in Paris, where he counted Constantin Brancusi, Jean Arp and Alberto Giacometti amongst his friends. Kelly returned to America in 1949 having embraced abstraction and developed his signature style. This style, which features coloured shapes on a pure white ground, was furthered during his time at both Gemini GEL and Tyler Graphics.

Kelly completed over 100 print editions at Gemini and several more at Tyler Graphics. While most of these works are typical of Kelly, in that they explore colour and shape, there are a handful of atypical works. The collection contains several simple black line lithographs of plants, leaves and flowers as well as a series of lithograph screen prints, St Martin’s landscape, which employ the nude female form as a collage effect.
Emilie Owens

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Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated January 2017