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Color and Area: New Paintings by Ellsworth Kelly

ELLSWORTH KELLY’S NEW PAINTINGS maximize one of the necessarily crucial and persistent factors in modern abstract art: the interrelation of color and area. The spareness of Kelly’s art has meant that the “correct” fixing of the dimensions of a color for a specific occasion has always been his basic concern; but here, the workings of scale and shape on color find perhaps their most overt, and hence complete, expression to date. Since his working method has never been a matter of linear moves to fixed solutions, but rather involves treating the same “subject matter” at different focal lengths (sometimes depicted on the surfaces, sometimes, close-up, as surface itself), some of the forms of these paintings will not be “new.” (Some, especially, recall certain bipartite works of 1966, and nearly all of the formats may even be discovered compacted in a Paris relief of 1950.) But the point here

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