Ellsworth Kelly: Self Portrait Drawings 1944-1992
Essay by Harry Cooper.
Think of an Ellsworth Kelly: an abstract consideration of the relationship between figure and ground; a conscious questioning of the conditions that underlie perception; an exploration of the relationship of painting and wall, sculpture and space, viewer and work. Now think of Ellsworth Kelly: a man, born in the 1920s in New York state, who has been recording his own appearance in ink and graphite over the years, capturing himself as his attitudes changed, his self-perception changed, his face and body aged. Collected here are five decades of Kelly's self-portraits, drawn between 1944 and 1992. The artist sketches himself in all variety of poses: bust, standing, sitting, clothed, nude, laughing, serious, self-possessed. The style of drawing changes as frequently, from line drawing to cubist to comic to naturalistic. Taken together, they present a marvelous portrait of the artist as a man.