ellsworth kelly (1923 – 2015)

Kelly_ellsworth_1Peter Schjeldahl at The New Yorker:

Ellsworth Kelly, the painter and sculptor of implacably beautiful abstractions, is, except for Jasper Johns, the last hero standing of the mighty American avant-garde that succeeded Abstract Expressionism. But, rather than rest on his laurels, Kelly, now eighty-eight, is reaping more of them. One cloudy morning not long ago, he bustled about his vast, museumlike studio, showing visitors works and plans for imminent shows and commissions. The studio’s nobly proportioned, austere architecture, by Richard Gluckman, is set in luxuriant woodland south of Albany, where Kelly has been since 1970 and now shares a house with his partner, Jack Shear, the energetic director of Kelly’s foundation. Carefully situated wooden chairs by Gerrit Rietveld and Antoni Gaudí greet visitors in the studio’s entrance hall—a rare decorative touch in a building that trumpets functionality. Down the road a bit, the house is another, gemütlich matter, furnished by Shear with eclectic elegance: items both modern and antique and a dazzling, up-to-the-minute kitchen. “Jack has wonderful taste,” Kelly enthused. Shear said, “Our deal is that I see to the household decisions, and Ellsworth does his work.”

The artist looks younger than his years, though he suffers from a lung condition and must trail tubes from oxygen pumps as he moves from room to room. No, he never smoked. He blames “sixty years of breathing turpentine.”

more here.