Ellsworth Kelly: The Plant Lithographs
“Since birth we get accustomed to seeing and thinking at the same time. But I think that if you can turn off the mind and look at things only with your eyes, ultimately everything becomes abstract.”
In 1964, Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015) began work on a series of prints he called Suite of Plant Lithographs. Printed in Paris in 1965 and 1966, they capture the essence of botanical subjects such as camellia leaves or cyclamen with an unerring spareness and elegance.
In celebration of the centennial of Kelly’s birth, this exhibition presents ten highlights from the Suite of Plant Lithographs. See masterfully rendered forms at once familiar and unfamiliar: leaves, branches, and fruit distilled into pure black contour lines free of color or shading, floating as abstract shapes on otherwise empty sheets of paper. Such instinctive observation of the world around him—and distillation to its essential form—fueled the abstract paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures that defined Kelly’s seven-decade career.
- Frances Vrachos Gallery / Mary Stamas Gallery (Gallery 148)