Ellsworth Kelly is shaping his legacy as precisely as one of his geometric canvases. Collaborating with scholar Yve-Alain Bois, the 92-year-old artist has been preparing a multivolume catalogue raisonné documenting his extensive (and ever-growing) output. Bois had unfettered access to Kelly in his upstate New York studio, and the richness of their exchanges enlivens the first volume, just released by Editions Cahiers d’Art. A detailed taxonomy but also a great origin story, the book is devoted mostly to the six years the young artist spent in Paris, when he adopted the monochrome, among other career-defining strategies. “Everything he ever accomplished sprouted from this formative moment,” writes Bois of this period. Indeed, Kelly has never lost that clarity of purpose.

Ellsworth Kelly: Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Reliefs, and Sculpture, Volume 1, 1940–1953
, Editions Cahiers d’Art


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