Tag Archive | Minimalist

New U.S. Postage Stamps Honor American Minimalist Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly 2019 Postage Stamps
Images Courtesy of USPS

America artist Ellsworth Kelly (19232015), whose work I have often covered here on ‘The Gig, forged a distinctive style of abstraction over his seven decades as an artist. On May 31st, 2019 Kelly was commemorated with 10 U.S. Postal Service stamps highlighting his work.  Amazing!

The Ellsworth Kelly Forever stamps were dedicated at the Ellsworth Kelly Studio in Spencertown, NY. News about the stamps is being shared on social media using the hashtags #EllsworthKelly and #EllsworthKellyStamps.

Ellsworth Kelly honed his artistic voice as a soldier during World War II when he created camouflage patterns and designed posters for the U.S. government,” said USPS Marketing Vice President Steve Monteith, who served as the dedicating official. “Today we celebrate the American master of abstract painting with these dynamic stamps that truly capture the creative talent of Kelly that will be seen by millions as Forever stamps on cards and letters.”

Characterized by precise shapes rendered in bold, flat colors, Ellsworth Kelly’s art and minimalist / color field aesthetic encompasses painting, sculpture and works on paper, drawing on careful observations of light and shadow, negative space, and line and form. In painting shapes — like a tennis court, a smokestack on a tugboat, or the roof of a barn — as flat planes of color, Kelly removed their dimensionality and turned reality into abstraction. He was also one of the first artists to create shaped canvases and to integrate art with modern architecture, taking great care in the decisions he made about the size of a painting, its boundaries, and its placement in relation to walls and floors.

Even late in his career, Kelly continued to refine his vision, constantly returning to his notebooks and earlier works to further develop ideas and explore new directions. Fittingly, his last work, an ambitious free-standing building titled Austin, seamlessly melds color, sculpture and architecture into a single experience.

Ellsworth Kelly received the National Medal of Arts in 2013. Today his work is in the permanent collections of major museums in the U.S. and around the world.

Ellsworth Kelly 2019 Postage Stamps

The 20 stamps on the pane feature 10 of Kelly’s artworks, each represented twice in the following order: top row, L to R: Yellow White (1961), Colors for a Large Wall (1951), Blue Red Rocker (1963), Spectrum I (1953), South Ferry (1956); and second row, L to R: Blue Green (1962), Orange Red Relief for Delphine Seyrig (1990), Meschers (1951), Red Blue (1964), and Gaza (1956). The selvage features a detail from Blue Yellow Red III (1971), as well as Kelly’s name and the years of his birth and death.

Ellsworth Kelly’s name appears at the bottom center of each stamp in bold black type. “USA” and “Forever” are printed alongside each artwork. Derry Noyes served as art director and designer for this stamp sheet. The Ellsworth Kelly stamps are being issued as Forever stamps, and will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price. The Ellsworth Kelly Forever Stamps can be purchased at at Post Office locations nationwide, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), and  from the USPS official website/ online store at This Link.

Lastly, contrary to what our Idiot president would have you believe, it is worth noting that The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Alejandro Puente, Untitled

Alejandro Puente Untitled
Photo By Gail

Alejandro Puente (19332013) was at the fore of a group of artists from La Plata, Argentina, who shared with American Minimalist and Conceptual artists of the 1960s a devotion to the rigorous exploration of systems of color and form. This composition reflects Puente’s preference for the primary colors as they appear unmixed on a color wheel. Arranged together, four equilateral triangles make up a single, larger triangle, with the three primary colors radiating out from an anchor in black. An even white strip runs along two sides of each triangle, suggesting a state of incompleteness while also creating the perimeter of overall composition. As this composite work suggests, the abstract vocabularies practiced by La Plata artists effectively abandoned traditional painting by embracing the shaped canvas, the support assuming its own identity in space as an object

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Ellsworth Kelly, Orange Green

Orange Green
Photo By Gail

While living and working in Paris, from 1948 to 1954,  Ellsworth Kelly (19232015) developed an abstract vocabulary of line, form, and color and began is career-long investigation into how figure and ground are perceived in nonrepresentational painting. He became interested in the way that painting engages with the architectural space that it inhabits; rather than attempting to simulate three-dimensional perspective in a composition, he instead considered the wall to be a kind of ‘ground’ and the painting itself a figure on it.

In Orange Green (1964), made the following decade when he was back in New York, he established the figure-ground relationship on the canvas itself through the careful balance of two areas of color: the truncated orange egg-shape is the figure and the bright green color that surrounds it functions as its background.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Skull Cap By Sol LeWitt

Skull Cap By Sol Lewitt
Photos By Gail

A pioneer of Minimal and Conceptual art, Sol LeWitt (19282007) is known for large-scale, geometric wall drawings, often using bold stripes of pure color to create rhythmic optical patterns. In 2001, he conceived the doors of a Torah ark for Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester, Connecticut, with the design of a six-pointed star within a circle.  The pattern was later repeated on this leather Skull Cap. The translation of LeWitt’s signature Minimalist style into a multicolored item of Judaica is at once cheerful and graphically striking.

Photographed in the Jewish Museum in NYC.

Skull Cap By Sol Lewitt

Modern Art Monday Presents: Donald Judd, Untitled (1970) Stack Sculpture

Donald Judd Untitled Stack 1970
All Photos By Gail

Donald Judd (1928 – 1994) created his first vertical Stack Sculpture in 1965. Coincidentally, this was just one year before furniture designer Ettore Sottsass designed his Superebox cabinet series. At the time, Sottsass claimed to have been inspired from the radical materials and construction of Parisian fashion, but he late wrote about Judd and even named a table in homage to him.

Donald Judd Untitled Stack 1970 Detail
Untitled Stack Sculpture (1970) Detail

Sottsass and Judd each explored Minimalism and the effect of objects on their environment, but from strikingly different vantage points

Donald Judd Untitled Stack 1970 Detail

Judd’s sculptures use the language and materials of serial production and functionalist design, while Sottsass created functional objects with the aspiration of minimalist sculpture.

Donald Judd Untitled Stack 1970

Photographed in The Met Breuer Museum in NYC.

New Richard Serra Sculptures at Gagosian Gallery

Every Which Way
Every Which Way, 2015 (All Photos By Gail)

Both of Gagosian Gallery’s Chelsea locations are currently hosting a new selection of Richard Serra’s monumental minimalist sculptures created from slabs of forged steel.

Silence
Silence (for John Cage)

Through
Through

Personally, I am fond of the ones that you can walk inside of, or through, such as this one, which, appropriately, is entitled Through.

Through
Inside Through

Above Below Betwixt Between
Above Below Betwixt Between

This one is painted on the four walls of a small room.

Signage

The above four sculptures are located at 555 West 24th Street.

NJ-1
NJ-1

If you walk a few blocks south you can find NJ-1, which is a huge maze you can walk in, over at 522 West 21st Street. Very fun!

These Richard Serra Sculptures will be up until July 29th, 2016, at the above noted locations in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Every Which Way
Every Which Way

Regine Schumann’s Look Into It at DeBuck Gallery

 Regine Schumann Look Into It
All Photos By Gail

Do you enjoy looking at pretty colored lights? I sure do. De Buck Gallery is currently an exhibit by German artist Regine Schumann, entitled Look Into It, and it is pretty groovy. Check out my photos and asses whether or not it is something you would also enjoy viewing!

Color Mirrors

Schumann is among the most notable artists working in the field of acrylic sculpture today. Her Colormirror series is an exploration in the relationship between color, light and form. Light — and its transformative powers, in particular — plays a key in the experience of her work.

Color Mirrors

Translucent boxes edged in vibrant colors, the pieces come alive under black light; they are set aglow and a new range of color emerges. I saw the exhibit at night, when the black lights were bringing out the fluorescent aspects of the work, but seeing it in the day, under natural light would make for a completely different viewing experience. So cool!

Color Mirrors

With their strong minimalist aesthetic, geometry also is an important factor for Schumann, who cites architecture as one of her primary influences. The works on view in Look Into It, with their variety of shapes and sizes, together create a balanced overview of Schumann’s mastery of proportion.

Color Mirrors

Tiny boxes jutting out from the wall, groups of parallel panels, and monumental slabs work together to create an altogether harmonious and graceful effect. These photos do not do the work justice, of course, so you should really drop by and experience this fun exhibit for yourself!

Color Mirrors

Regine Schumann’s Look Into It will be on Exhibit through March 21st, 2015 at DeBuck Gallery, Located at 545 West 23rd Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Color Mirrors

Modern Art Monday Presents: Ellsworth Kelly, Spectrum V

Ellsworth Kelly Spectrum V
Photo By Gail

I want you to appreciate that I had to wait patiently for about 15 minutes for a child and her oblivious mom to stop effing around in front of this 13 panel color field installation that makes up legendary minimalist Ellsworth Kelly’s Spectrum V (1969) before I could (finally) get this photo. You’re welcome.

Ellsworth Kelly (1923 – 2015) was an American painter, sculptor, and printmaker associated with hard-edge painting, Color Field painting and the minimalist school. His works demonstrate unassuming techniques emphasizing simplicity of form, similar to the work of John McLaughlin and Kenneth Noland. Kelly often employs bright colors. He lived and worked in Spencertown, New York.

Spectrum V, a gift of the artist, is part of the permanent collection in the Modern Art wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Video Clip of the Week: Plaid, “Wallet”



It’s hard to believe that the electronica duo, Plaid have been around almost as long as I’ve been writing about music. And yet, it’s true.

Plaid released its latest album, Reachy Prints (Warp Records) in mid-May along with this hypnotic video for the track “Wallet,” which was directed by Sabrina Ratté. Ratté offers that, “the video is inspired by the idea of creating a world based on memories, where things seem real but they are in fact a construction of the mind. All the images are made from electronic signals, from which were created a reproduction of a sun, different landscapes and cities. The musical composition induced the vision of bright colors and daylight atmosphere, so the simulated sunlight became a central element of the video, thus creating dazed images where everything is diffused and hard to grasp.”

Plaid Adds:
“We wondered if consciousness is a memory and what role memories have in the imaginative process . We saw prints as physical memories and an equivalence between printing and memory function. They often share the aim of ‘reproducing’ a subject as accurately as possible. Experience told us that a perfect reproduction is difficult, if not impossible. An attraction to explore this fallibility and a curiosity about the potential inaccuracies and artifacts gave us the album title, Reachy Prints. The track ‘Wallet’ is inspired by the items found in wallets, the money, receipts, business cards, photos etc and the symbolism of wallets as a safe place to store items we value and want to remember. Most items in a wallet have already been digitized and perhaps physical wallets/purses will become obsolete.”

Personally, I dig its minimalist “Light Sculpture” visuals and the Sunday Morning lull of the track’s gentle, pulsating beats. Plaid are on tour in the US for handful of dates in July, which you can find listed below. Enjoy!

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES
July 3 @ Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
July 4 @ TBA
July 6 @ The Roxy – Los Angeles, CA
July 10 @ The Parish – Austin, TX
July 11 @ 1015 Folsom – San Francisco, CA
July 12 @ Fortune Sound Club – Vancouver, BC
July 18 @ Le Poisson Rouge – New York, NY

Plaid Reach Prints Cover Art

Modern Art Monday Presents: Donald Judd, Untitled 1989

Donald Judd Untitled 1989
Photo By Gail

Untitled 1989, by legendary minimalist Donald Judd is installed on the 4th floor of NYC’s Museum of Modern Art. As you can see, this very colorful painted aluminum sculpture reaches nearly across the width of the room and, in this way, allows the museum-goer an opportunity spatially interact with its three dimensional properties (short, of course, of climbing onto it). I love the bright, primary colors of this piece and the form reminds me of playground equipment, which is always a happy thing to consider.

In addition to his minimalist sculptures, Donald Judd wrote extensively about art, painted, and designed furniture. He was a great and highly influential artist. Judd died in Manhattan of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1994, at the age of 65. We will be featuring another of Judd’s works, also a part of MOMA’s permanent collection, later on in this series.