Ellsworth Kelly – 1954 Drawings on a Bus
Ellsworth Kelly made the drawings reproduced in this volume in the Fall of 1954. Published for the first time in this sketchbook facsimile, these drawings offer a rare and special glimpse into the distinguished artist’s working process at the dawn of his career. The inspiration for the drawings in Sketchbook 23 came to the artist while riding a bus. Inspired by the shadows cast across the pages of a book, the artist took out his pencil and quickly recorded the outlines of the shadows directly onto the pages. Upon returning to his studio, Kelly reached for a sketchbook and began developing the sketches in ink, experimenting with variations, cropping and layering the shadow forms to generate new ones. These black and white drawings became the source material for larger works, including some of the artist’s most celebrated canvases, such as Atlantic (1956) purchased by the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1957, the first work by Kelly to enter a museum collection.
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