--Ellsworth Kelly, “Notes from 1969,” in Ellsworth Kelly: Schilderijen en beelden 1963-1979, exh. cat., Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 1979, p. 34
Ellsworth Kelly’s Study for Curve II is a discerning exploration of form that utilizes basic gestures to describe complex spatial relationships. Composed of two line segments that meet in a right angle and connect at their other end with an arc, Kelly’s drawing exhibits a graceful diagonal symmetry. The straight lines rhyme with the edges of the picture plane, and the curving segment bends away from the border, drawing attention to the negative space between the edge of the line and the corner. The momentum of Kelly’s gesture is captured where each line meets, forever recorded in the sweeps made by the graphite as they lifted off of the page. The drawing is a study for the highly important sculpture Curve II, originally installed outside of Phillip Johnson's house in Connecticut and subsequently donated by Johnson to the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Johnson, who designed the interior of the Four Seasons Restaurant in the Seagram building was instrumental to the formation of the Seagram collection, and Kelly’s drawing stands as a testament to the pioneering contemporary vision that pervades the collection.
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