ELLSWORTH KELLY: Plant Lithographs from the Artist's Collection

5 December 2008 - 7 February 2009
Ellsworth Kelly, 85 this year, is one of the world’s greatest living artists. Since the 1940s he has explored the possibilities of abstraction to create paintings and sculptures which reveal an extraordinary vision. Kelly's skill in working with form, colour, space and line to create monumental visual statements is a result of his acute spatial sensibility, and an understanding of the potential in the fusion of these elements.

Kelly has always maintained that his elemental abstraction remains rooted in the world in which he lives: in the shapes and forms that surround us and especially in the shadows and spaces between things.

“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” - Ellsworth Kelly

Throughout his extraordinary career Kelly has always been drawn to nature and beginning in 1949, while living in Paris (and influenced in this choice of subject by Matisse and Arp) he began to draw simple plant and seaweed forms. In his drawing of fruits, flowers and leaves Kelly’s concern is with the essence of each plant, and in their purity of line and shape these lithographic drawings provide a critical link to the character of his abstraction.

In 1954 Kelly returned to America, and a decade later started to make prints. It was then that he created his first group of plant lithographs, nine of which are included in this exhibition. Drawn from Nature presents a survey of the very best of the artist’s work in this medium, made over a 40 year period and selected with generous permission from his own personal collection. In a rare coup for Edinburgh’s Ingleby Gallery these works, with their exquisite provenance, will all be available for sale.