Ellsworth Kelly, one of the last remaining of the 20th-century abstract artists, who helped to shape American painting has died age 92. His death was announced by the gallerist Matthew Marks yesterday.
Mr Kelly evaded critical attempts to classify him as a Color Field, hard-edge, or Minimalist painter, has redefined abstraction in art, establishing himself through his drawings, paintings, sculptures, and prints as one of the most important artists working today. Kelly’s visual vocabulary is drawn from observation of the world around him—shapes and colors found in plants, architecture, shadows on a wall or a lake—and has been shaped by his interest in the spaces between places and objects and between his work and its viewers. He has said, “In my work, I don’t want you to look at the surface; I want you to look at the form, the relationships.”
Kelly was a Prototype, working from observational standpoints. Influenced by automatic drawing that he picked up from European surrealism and pushing boundaries withlarge fields of flat colour. He was not affected by the contemporary art of his time and had a deep love of history of art.
Ellsworth Kelly (born 1923) in Newburgh, N.Y., on May 31, 1923, He studied painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston after his discharge from the Army in 1945. But his formative years as an artist were in Paris, which he had visited briefly during World War II, and where he returned to live in 1948 with support from the G.I. Bill.has been the subject of major exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and his work is in many public collections, including those of the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, and Tate Modern, London. Kelly lived and worked in Spencertown, New York. He is survived by his husband, the photographer Jack Shear and his brother, David.