FB2 The Prints of Ellsworth Kelly by Richard H. Axsom read without signing audio fb2 onlineFB2 The Prints of Ellsworth Kelly by Richard H. Axsom read without signing audio fb2 online
This one mixes the good with the bad. Kelly is great, and Axsom does a fine job discussing the odd place his work occupies in relation to other major mid-century movements. In discussing the ways Formalist description falls short in describing Kellys body of work, he rightly argues that Kellys art does not, of course, have early abstractions theosophical or surrealist foundation, or Constructivisms pragmatic design orientation; nor does it share the mythical or psychological roots of Abstract Expressionism. However, he takes shortcuts when trying to free the work from being identified as minimalist. The cerebral bent of Minimalism, he writes, with its attention to the artists processes of making as well as the completed work, was essentially foreign to Kellys art. I might be off here, but I dont know that Ive ever thought process to have been much of a concern for the minimal crowd. In fact, Id say minimal work more often betrayed a sense of human process, as works were often fabricated, entirely free of obvious human touch. He goes on to contrast Kellys brilliantly hedonistic color of the 1960s with Minimalisms subdued, nearly colorless palette. While early work lumped into this category, like that of Stella (his black and aluminum paintings) and Andre, fits this description, artists like Judd, Flavin, and even Stella were soon producing work full of brilliant color. Also, it seems theres a lack of symmetry in Axsoms understanding of how Kellys work relates to metaphysical ideas. As mentioned above, the author understands a remove in Kellys work from the theosophical and mythical components of early abstraction. Early on, discussing Klee and Mondrian (in particular the way they differ from Kelly), he says, the domain of early abstraction is clearly metaphysical. But, by the end of his essay, Axsom says directly that, [Kellys] art has a metaphysics, which is total bullshit. Kellys notebooks reveal a project that was never realized, a folding painting, a work that would function like a medieval alter piece, with a black panel and a white panel that would physically swing open to reveal the three primary colors. While theres not a single reason to assume Kelly was trying to introduce any elements of the supernatural, Axsom takes this as a clue that his art has a spiritual core. I think thats a bit fast.Axsom also offers incredibly detailed descriptions of the printing methods Kelly used and the way the prints relate to his more popular paintings, sculptures, and drawings. These can be terrifically informative. Though, if youre not looking to open a print shop or embark on a series of prints yourself, this stuff can be a pretty tedious read. Now that Ive dragged the guy through the mud, I dont have any problem saying that he really does have a clear understanding for Kellys development and the way his works in various media relate to one another. Apparently, Kellys prints rarely came directly from earlier paintings or drawings, as he would often re-work contours or color combinations before executing a run of prints. And Axsom certainly has a keen eye for Kellys innovations, making the case that his Maeght series of color lithographs, printed around 64, wouldve been among the first serialized bodies of work. The illustrations are great, too.So, while the essay is weak in spots, Id definitely recommend picking up a copy if only for access to the catalogue raisonee.
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