Support: Arches cover paper laminated on Sintra aluminum panel
Sheet: 101.6 x 276.9 cm (40 x 109 in.); Framed: 120.6 x 295.8 x 8.9 cm (47 1/2 x 116 7/16 x 3 1/2 in.)
© Ellsworth Kelly
Gift of Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro 2004.66
During a visit to Basel, Switzerland, Ellsworth Kelly stood on the balcony of his hotel room one evening and became mesmerized by the reflections of the lights from a nearby bridge onto the rapid and rugged flow of the Rhine River. The scene inspired Kelly to execute The River (State) at Gemini G.E.L., an important printmaking workshop in Los Angeles which has a press large enough to produce this monumental lithograph printed in gray and two shades of black. Juxtaposing four equal vertical sections, each of which depicts the river at a different angle, intensifies the sensations of shimmering light and rushing water.
Kelly is most well-known for paintings, prints, and sculptures that are brightly colored, free-form shapes. These, as well as all of his work, have their initial basis in nature, in actual perceptions of the world. A particular configuration - an open doorway, the gentle curve of a hill, light reflected on water - will seize his attention. He distills this observed form into pure, abstract shape.
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