Oil on canvas
Framed: 230 x 178 x 4 cm (90 9/16 x 70 1/16 x 1 9/16 in.); Unframed: 228.6 x 176.4 cm (90 x 69 7/16 in.)
© Ellsworth Kelly
Contemporary Collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art 1964.142
Kelly's abstract shapes were often based on observed reality, such as the plants that he kept in his studio.
Red Blue is all about the relation of two different colors and two different forms. On the surface of the canvas, two elements come together, interact with each other, and affect each other’s appearance. The arrangement of the two colors red and blue, which work to intensify one another, is one essential component of the work. The other is the confrontation of two different forms: The edges of one shape-the blue rectangle-are given by the edges of the canvas and are therefore logical and measurable, while the organic form of the red color field, despite the clean, precise rendering, seems to breathe and float, activating the composition as a whole. In this way, even though there is no trace of the artist’s hand, the painting refers to very natural and organic forms and ways of perception.
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