Ellsworth Kelly on painting

 

Photograph of Ellsworth Kelly

“I usually let them (drawings) lay around for a long time. I have to get to really like it. And then when I do the painting I have to get to like that too. Sometimes I stay with the sketch, sometimes I follow the original idea exactly if the idea is solved. But most of the time there have to be adjustments during the painting. Through the painting of it I find the colour and I work the form and play with it and it adjusts itself.” ~ Ellsworth Kelly

 

 

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Seurat and Non-figurative painting

Artist Georges Seurat circa 1888

In his book, ‘Image as Language’: Aspects of British Art 1950-1960, (1969), Christopher Finch suggests the importance of Seurat’s contribution and relationship to the later developments of Non-figurative painting:

“In Seurat’s observation that he thought of the frame as insulating the picture from the world at large we can perhaps see the beginnings of the cult of pictorial autonomy. Seurat made a valid difference between representation and that which is represented; he opened up a humorous gap between what took place on his canvas and what actually could be seen on a fine Sunday afternoon on the Ile de la Grande Jatte (or rather – as Seurat himself would have insisted – it was his method, his language, that opened up the gap). With the new century young painters took up the idea and expanded it into a justification of their own non-illusory techniques. If the painting is an object in its own right why should it be parasitic upon other objects? Non-figurative painting was born of these notions.”

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Between the present and memory

Painting, Christ Church, Spitalfields, Summer 1990 by Leon Kossoff

“In the dusty sunlight of this August day, when this part of London still looks and feels like the London of Blake’s Jerusalem. I find myself involved once again in making drawings and the idea of a painting begins to emerge. The urgency that drives me to work is not only to do with the pressures of the accumulation of memories and the unique quality of the subject on this particular day but also with the awareness that time is short, that soon the mass of this building will be lost forever, for it is by its monumental flight into unimpeded space that we remember this building.” ~ Leon Kossoff

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