Ellsworth Kelly - Editions New York Tuesday, June 8, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Richard Axsom 26-28

  • Catalogue Essay

    While Ellsworth Kelly was in France in late 1964, he began two major series of lithographs for Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, who were Parisian publishers of art books and fine-art prints and co-owners of Galerie Maeght. The first set of prints, the Suite of Twenty-Seven Color Lithographs, was published in early 1965.
    Marcel Durassier was the noted master printer for Maeght. He had collaborated on lithographic projects with mant School of Paris artists, including Georges Braque, Joan Miró, Alberto Giacometti, Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse. he worked with Kelly, supervising, proofing, and editioning the Series of Twenty-Seven Color Lithographs adn the first twelve rints of the Suite of Plant Lithographs. Maeght made Miró's luxurious apartment above the lithographic studio available to Kelly during his month-long stay in Paris (Miró resided there while he collaborated on print projects for Maeght.) Kelly worked upstairs, going back and forth to the printers below, actively involved on a full-time, daily basis with making preliminary collages and drawings, drawing with lithograhic crayon on the stones, helping to carry them, and carefully following the proofing stages. He remembers the challenge posed for Durassier by his large, plain areas and blocks of pure color. Durassier, who was accustomed to traditional lithography, with its emphasis on drawing and hand gesture, had never printed broad flats of color before. He did them to Kelly's great satisfaction.
    The Maeght color lithographs were Kelly's first serialized work of art. Previous paintings, because of similar shape, often fell into loosely knit groupings, but Kelly never conceived them as a specific set of variations to be presented together. The scale of the prints allowed this, and--along with Frank Stella, who at the time had fashioned a number of painting series--Kelly was one of the first Americans to develop serialized work, an achievement, little acknowledged, that influence his future directions and that set no small precedent for the Minimalists later in the decade. (Richard Axsom, The Prints of Ellsworth Kelly, Hudson Hills Press, 1987, pp. 19 and 39).

  • Artist Biography

    Ellsworth Kelly

    American • 1923 - 2015

    Acting as a vital contributor to the Abstract movement, Ellsworth Kelly focused on color and composition. Becoming inspired by ornithology and the bold coloring of birds, Kelly used a two or three pigment color palette — painted flatly and geometrically — on his canvases. While living in Paris, the artist used Monet's late works as a base for experimenting with expressionism and serial work

    View More Works


Blue over Green; Orange over Green; and Orange over Blue

Three lithographs in colors, on Rives BFK paper, with full margins,
all I. 20 3/8 x 15 3/4 in. (51.8 x 40 cm);
all S. 35 1/4 x 23 3/4 in. (89.5 x 60.3 cm)

all signed and numbered 19/75, Orange over Green numbered 20/75, in pencil (there were 7, 4 and 7 artist's proofs respectively), all published by Maeght, Paris, all with the sheet slightly toned, minor surface soiling, occasional soft handling creases, a few irregularities in the inks, mat and reverse staining in places in the margins, hinge remains at the reverse of the upper corners, otherwise all in good condition, all unframed.

$10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for $8,750


8 June 2010
New York