Ellsworth Kelly: Prints and Paintings at LACMA

Colors on a Grid (1976), collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer, © Ellsworth Kelly and Tyler Graphics, Ltd.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents Ellsworth Kelly: Prints and Paintings, the first retrospective of the artist’s prolific print practice since the late 1980s. This exhibition coincides with the forthcoming revised and updated catalogue raisonné of Kelly’s prints, and features more than 100 works on paper, in addition to a selection of paintings from local collections.

Ellsworth Kelly: Prints and Paintings is organized thematically by key motifs, demonstrating the artist’s long-standing engagement with elemental form and pure color.

“This exhibition allows us to see the consistency of Kelly’s print practice, and how the formal hallmarks of his paintings and drawings have an important place in his graphic work,”
notes Stephanie Barron, senior curator of modern art and exhibition co-curator. 

Britt Salvesen, curator of prints and drawings and exhibition co-curator adds,
“Whether created in series or individually, these prints offer an opportunity to explore Kelly’s ongoing interest in pure form and color.” 

Kelly produced his first editioned prints in 1964-65, with Maeght Éditeur in Paris. Although he has explored intaglio and screenprinting methods, his primary affinity is for lithography. His growing interest in the medium coincided with the founding of Gemini G.E.L., the now-legendary print workshop located on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Gemini’s founders — Ken Tyler, Sidney Felsen, and Stanley Grinstein — first approached Kelly in 1968. Based on strong recommendations by artist Frank Stella and critic Barbara Rose, Kelly accepted their invitation and first visited the workshop in 1970, initiating a collaboration that has lasted more than forty years. In total, the artist has created 336 editions.