Drawn from Nature: The Plant Lithographs of Ellsworth Kelly

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Yale University Press, 2005 M01 1 - 123 pages
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An American artist of worldwide renown, Ellsworth Kelly has consistently returned to nature as a subject throughout his extraordinary career. Kelly began making prints in 1964; shortly thereafter he created his first suite of plant lithographs. To date he has produced 72 plant lithographs that fall into five major series: Suite of Plant Lithographs (1964–66); Leaves (1973–74); Twelve Leaves (1978); Series of Plant and Flower Lithographs (1983–85); Oak Leaves (1992); and several individual works. This comprehensive book serves as a beautiful portfolio of the plant lithographs accompanied by informative texts on all of these works as well as an insightful discussion of how they relate to the ink and pencil plant drawings that the artist has produced concurrently with the lithographs throughout his career.
Kelly has occupied the center stage of modernism since his early years in Paris in the 1950s. Distinguished for his abstract style of pure color and shape, Kelly believes that his art remains rooted in the natural world. In their simplicity of line and shape, his widely admired and accessible plant lithographs provide a critical link to the character of abstraction and are a remarkable achievement within the framework of Kelly’s lifetime of accomplishment.

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Drawn from nature: the plant lithographs of Ellsworth Kelly

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Ellsworth Kelly, although known as one of the principal postwar American abstract artists, never strayed far from organic shapes in any of his work. This interest in natural contours is not surprising ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Richard H. Axsom is senior curator of prints and photographs at the Grand Rapids Art Museum and professor emeritus of art history, University of Michigan. He was coauthor of The Prints of Ellsworth Kelly: A Catalogue Raisonn , 1949-1985.

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