Ellsworth Kelly was an American painter, sculptor, and printmaker associated with hard-edge painting, Colour Field painting and minimalism.
Kelly intends for viewers to experience his artwork with instinctive, physical responses to the work’s structure, colour, and surrounding space rather than with contextual or interpretive analysis. He encourages a kind of silent encounter, or bodily participation by the viewer with the artwork, chiefly by presenting bold and contrasting colours free of gestural brushstrokes or recognisable imagery, panels protruding gracefully from the wall, and irregular forms inhabiting space as confidently as the viewer before them.
Real-life observations are the backbone of Kelly’s abstraction works, which are replications of the shapes, shadows, and other visual sensations he experiences in the world around him. As did the early twentieth century Dadaists, Kelly delights in the spontaneous, the casual, and the ephemeral means of finding such “readymade” subjects.