Ellsworth Kelly (American, b.1923) is a painter and sculptor who established his own style amidst the pervasive influence of the Abstract Expressionist and Pop Art movements. Born in New York City, Kelly admired the works of Naturalist John James Audubon (American, 1785–1851) as a child and loved to draw, even though his parents only reluctantly permitted him to study at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. After serving during World War II for two years as a camouflage artist, Kelly was able to study on the GI Bill at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston, MA, and then at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France.
Separated from the American art world while in Europe, Kelly developed his distinctive method of painting, which features canvases painted in a single color, at times in isolation and other times grouped with differently colored canvases. These works echo Kelly’s desire to separate himself from the traditional roles of composition and the artist’s hand. Kelly only returned to the US when he believed that the enthusiasm for Abstract Expressionism had died down enough to allow his work to get some visibility. By the end of the 1950s, he was internationally recognized for his monochromatic canvases, which began to take the shape of non-rectangular forms such as ovals and curves. Kelly also began to create sculptures similar to his paintings, featuring simple two-dimensional forms. In 1970, the artist moved to upstate New York, where he shifted his focus to create large outdoor sculptures concerned more with color than form. Many of his public works are now on display around the world. Kelly now lives and works in Spencertown, NY.
Sunflower II, 2004, lithograph, 37 x 29 inches.
Black Curve, 1973, lithograph, 26 x w: 26 in.
Images and text: http://www.artnet.com/artists/ellsworth-kelly/
Bernard Buffet (French, 1928–1999) was a painter well-known for his Expressionist works. Buffet was a member of L’homme Témoin [the Witness-Man], an Anti-Abstract Art Group. Buffet was born in Paris, France, and he attended the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts to study Art. Around the same time, Buffet also worked at the studio of Eugène Narbonne (French, 1885–1966). As a struggling young artist, Buffet was supported by a French picture and art dealer while he was working on different works, including portraits, still-lifes, religious pieces, and landscapes.
The artist’s first painting was exhibited in 1946 at the Galerie Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. After that, Buffet held at least one exhibition in each of the subsequent years. The French magazine Connaissance des arts named him number one in a list of the 10 best post-war artists. The first retrospective of Buffet’s work was held in 1958 at the Galerie Charpentier in Paris. In 1973, the Bernard Buffet Museum was inaugurated in the artist’s honor in Surugadaira, Japan. Five years later, in 1978, Buffet was commissioned by the French government to design a stamp depicting the Institut et le Pont des Arts. Examples of his paintings include Tête de Veau (1954), Bouquet (1965), and Still Life (1991).
Buffet participated in numerous exhibitions in different places, including solo exhibitions at The French Institute, Berlin, Germany, in 1959, The Postal Museum, Paris, France, in 1978, and The Odakyu Museum, Tokyo, Japan, in 1995. Apart from solo exhibitions, the artist also took part in numerous group exhibitions, including those at the Salon des Independants, Paris, France, in 1947, and at the Salon d’Automne, Paris, France, in 1948. Major retrospectives of Buffet’s works have been held at institutions including Galerie Charpentier, Paris, France, in 1958, The Museum of Modem Art, Tokyo, Japan, in 1963, and Seedamm Cultural Center, Zurich, Switzerland, in 1983. Buffet received numerous awards for his works, including Member of the Salon d’Automne in 1947, co-recipient of the Prix de la Critique with Bernard Lorjou (French, 1908–1986) in 1948, and Officer of the Légion d”Honneur in 1973. Buffet’s works are held in different public collections, such as the National Gallery of Canada, in Ottawa, the National Museum of Western Art, in Tokyo, Japan, and Ca la Ghironda, in Bologna, Italy. Towards the end of his career, Buffet was unable to work because he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Buffet committed suicide in 1999 in Tourtour, France.
Nature morte, 1955. Water colour and pen and ink on paper, 65 x 50 cm.
Album Paris – Le Sacre Coeur, 1962, (edition of 150). Lithograph, in seven colors, on Rives paper, 55 x 73 cm.
Images and text: http://www.artnet.com/artists/bernard-buffet-2/