Opening Reception: Friday, August 10, 5:00-7:00 pm
James Kelly is pleased to present Back and Forth: New Paintings by Robert Kelly. This will be Robert Kelly’s first exhibition after joining the gallery in 2011.
Back and Forth: New Paintings by Robert Kelly will open with a reception for the artist on Friday, August 10, 2012, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. The exhibition will continue through October 13, 2012.
The exhibition will consist of approximately eighteen new paintings of various sizes, ranging from large-scale to more intimate works.
Kelly’s work is very much an investigation of forms, and formal relationships, imbedded in the history of modernism, yet done within the framework of being an artist in contemporary art culture. Having grown up in Santa Fe with its historical richness, combined with having lived the last 25 years in New York City sets up for him a parallel track of these concerns.
For this exhibition, Kelly continues to play with the applied reference of the ‘historical present’ that he has developed over the past several years. He builds up his surfaces with vintage papers he recently collected from Russia, Holland, the Czech Republic and Italy, letting the aged marks, bleeds and textural arrangements of these papers act as a guide to the subsequent laying down of pigments. The meticulously collaged surfaces create a mid-narrative, inhabited ground of references referring to the Bauhaus and Constructivist sensibilities. The bold lays of juxtaposed blocks of color, arranged precisely along the fissures of the underlying paper collages, emphasize the weight, authority and sensual beauty of the materiality of paint.
Kelly’s work is in a sense an amalgamation of collage and painting. Geometric-shaped color fields of oil pigments are subsequently laid down with a trowel-like brush leaving a fine, rhythmic pattern formed in drags across the overlapping sides of the collaged papers, covering the surface and revealing an overall grid. The remaining uncovered areas of the vintage papers reveal unreadable printed elements that are present on these pages, introducing a kind of pentimenti. Kelly meticulously creates his paintings by first covering the entire canvas with a collage of paper and then masterly builds up the surface with the pared down tools of line, form and color. His exquisite craftsmanship gives his work their remarkable elegance and grace.
Robert Kelly influences include the De Stijl movement, Malevich and Mondrian and modernists like Bauhaus, Joaquin Torres-Garcia, Philip Guston, Richard Diebenkorn, Kurt Schwitters, Blinky Palermo and Brazilian Constructivist artists Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica. Kelly himself cites Hans Arp, Myron Stout, Tony Smith, Constantin Brancusi, Alexander Calder, Bill Traylor, Louise Bourgeois and Ellsworth Kelly.
Robert Kelly was born in Santa Fe, NM and received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1978. He has lived in New York City for the past 25 years.
Robert Kelly is represented by James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe; Leslie Feely Fine Art, New York; John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA; AR/Contemporary Art, Milan, Italy; Galleri Weinberger, Copenhagen, Denmark.
His work has exhibited in countless solo and groups show in gallery throughout the United States and Europe since 1982. His work is included in several museums, including, New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM; The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI; Smith College Art Museum, Northampton, MA; The Fogg Museum, Cambridge, MA; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; The Margulies Collection, Miami, FL; Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutger’s University, NJ; Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, AL; University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque, NM and the McNay Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX.
Many private and corporate collections also include his work, namely, Graham Gund, Cambridge, MA; Werner Kramarsky, New York, NY; William C. Mercer, New York, NY; General Mills, Minneapolis, MN; Microsoft Corporation, Mountain View, CA; Pepsi Cola Company of Annaplois, MD; Phillip Morris Co., Boston, MA; Time Inc., New York, NY.
For more information on this exhibition visit jameskelly.com