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Lot 8

Ellsworth Kelly

Tulip, 2000
Pencil on Paper
54 × 41.9 cm
Signature: Signed twice and dated on the reverse

Estimate: €200,000 - €300,000
Sold for: €336,000
Bidding ended. Lot has been sold.

Copyright: © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation
Courtesy Ellsworth Kelly Studio
Provenance: Donated by the Ellsworth Kelly Studio 
and Jack Shear

Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015) is considered one of the most important representatives of American abstract painting after 1945. In 2002 the Fondation Beyeler dedicated a major retrospective to the US artist. Kelly’s works are represented in the museums's own collection and the surrounding park.

Alongside his monochrome colour field painting, however, Kelly also distinguished himself as a virtuoso draughtsman with his filigree, pared-down renderings of a world of plants, to which he returned regularly from the 1940s onwards. The most important compositional element of these drawings is the simple outline. With just a few accentuated strokes, Kelly succeeds in capturing on paper a single, slender tulip in its essential physiognomy seemingly without once lifting his pencil. A dynamic interaction thereby arises in his drawing between three-dimensional space and two-dimensional plane, between positive and negative, and between figure and ground fundamental artistic concerns, in other words, that are characteristic of Kelly’s work in all media.

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