A rare show of Ellsworth Kelly prints brings the painter and printmaker's saturated colors to Las Vegas.
Prints of light! Color Panels, 2011.
The renowned American painter, sculptor, and printmaker Ellsworth Kelly, who is widely considered one of the leading abstract artists of the postwar period, died at 92 last December. Which makes an exhibit of more than 20 of his prints, curated by Michele Quinn for UNLV’s Marjorie Barrick Museum, particularly unusual. “[Barrick director] Aurore Giguet and I were already talking about putting this show together before he passed away. But when an artist dies, most everything goes into lockdown for a while,” Quinn says. Gemini G.E.L., the legendary print workshop in Los Angeles with which Kelly had worked since 1970, loaned a number of pieces. “They were really generous at a difficult time,” she says, “and local private collectors lent other pieces.” In other words, the mix in this show is rare. Quinn’s favorites? “You can’t get much more iconic than Red,” a deeply saturated 2001 lithograph that is Ellsworth Kelly at his most classic. Known for translating what he observed into sharp abstractions, Kelly also had a softer side. “Daffodil is here, and the general public is less familiar with his plant drawings,” Quinn says. “I love them.” Through May 14, Marjorie Barrick Museum, UNLV, 4505 S. Maryland Pkwy., 702-895-3381