Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ellsworth Kelly Colored Paper Images

Where: National Gallery of Art, East Building

When: through December 1, 2013

As the days wind down for the East Building (which is due to close for renovations for THREE years at the end of 2013), I'm seeing all the temporary exhibits there with a touch of sadness.  It will be a long time before I'm off to see a show there again, although I gather the library will remain open throughout the construction, so I can still see their little exhibits.  Still, no big shows after the Diaghilev closes until 2016, which seems a very long way away.

This week I saw two small shows there, the first of which was this exhibit of colored images on paper by Ellsworth Kelly.  The introduction outside promised that these works were less rigid and more spontaneous than the monochromes for which he is best known.  Since I have little patience for monochromes (really, give me a bucket of paint and a canvas, and I can make a monochrome), I was hoping for something a bit more impressive than one color at a time.  These are, in fact, more than one color, but they are geometric shapes on paper; to me it seems as if there's nothing really artistic about them.  The work pictured above is by far the brightest of the set, so I liked it well enough.  Also, the blue in Image XVII is just stunning.  Other than that, I was able to glance at the works and move on quite quickly.

Verdict: If you like this sort of very abstract, geometric art, you'll find this show quite entertaining. 

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