Clarity, elegance, austerity, grace – you would hardly think these qualities went with brash and even eye-popping colour but so it is with the painting of Ellsworth Kelly. Kelly is a pioneer of American abstraction, a fabled figure, an early minimalist. He will be 83 this year. While contemporaries such as Ad Reinhardt, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin are all long gone he is still avidly picking over the potential of a few shapes and a handful of hues in a small town just far enough from New York to discourage predatory visits from the art world. He could almost be an advertisement for the benefits of peace and hard work.
Peace is certainly the characteristic atmosphere of his shows. Visitors slow down, drop their voices. That this should be the case when the colours are so full-volume – yellow, red, acid green – is part of the communal pleasure of his art;
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