Untitled (Totem)

Ellsworth Kelly

(1923-2015)

1998. Bronse. 430 x 42 x 3,2 cm. Tilhører Stiftelsen Tjuvholmen Skulpturpark.

1998. Bronze. 430 x 42 x 3,2 cm. Belongs to the foundation Tjuvholmen Sculpture Park.

Tilbake

Den amerikanske kunstneren Ellsworth Kelly arbeider både som maler, skulptør og grafiker. Han var en av de ledende kunstnerne innen abstrakt kunst i USA i etterkrigstiden. Allerede på 1950-tallet utviklet han et karakteristisk uttrykk innenfor minimalistisk kunst, colour-field painting og hard edge-kunst hvor man arbeider med skarpt avgrensede geometriske felter i rene farger.

I sine tidlige skulpturer på 1950-tallet jobbet Kelly med klare, rene linjer. Disse insisterer på en flathet som stritter imot skulpturenes egenskaper som tredimensjonale objekter. Etter at Kelly flyttet fra New York til sitt landsted i 1970, lot han seg inspirere av omgivelsene og begynte å jobbe med større utendørsskulpturer i materialer som stål, aluminium og bronse.

Skulpturen Untitled (Totem), som står i skulpturparken på Tjuvholmen, har en enkel og ren form. Den står som en silhuett mot sine omgivelser. Skulpturen er over fire meter høy, men på tross av den monumentale høyden og referansen i tittelen til en totemfigur, virker den beskjeden. Ser man skulpturen fra kortsiden, blir den nærmest redusert til en strek, mens den fra langsiden er bredere og markerer seg i forhold til omgivelsene. Uavhengig av hvilken vinkel man ser skulpturen, står den med en ro og sikkerhet, og den skjærer sin silhuett inn i omgivelsene.

Ellsworth Kelly har gjennom sin over 60 år lange karriere blant annet hatt soloutstillinger på The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art og Guggenheim Museum, alle i New York, Museum of Contemporary Art i Los Angeles, Tate Gallery i London og Haus der Kunst i München. Kunstverkene hans er kjøpt inn av samlinger som Centre Pompidou i Paris, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia i Madrid og Tate Modern i London. I dag bor og arbeider Kelly i Spencertown i staten New York.

The American artist Ellsworth Kelly works as a painter, sculptor and graphic artist, and was one of the leading Abstract Expressionist artists in the post-war United States. Kelly developed a characteristic expression in Minimalist art as early as in the 1950s – colour-field painting and hard-edge art – in which the artist works with sharp-edged geometric fields in pure colours.

In his early sculptures from the 1950s, Kelly worked with clear, clean lines. These works insist on a flatness that resist sculpture’s characteristic as a three-dimensional object. After Kelly had moved from New York to his countryside estate in 1970, he became inspired by his surroundings and began to work with larger outdoor sculptures in materials such as steel, aluminium and bronze.

The sculpture Untitled (Totem), which stands in the Sculpture Park at Tjuvholmen, has a plain and clean form. It stands as a silhouette against its surroundings. The sculpture is over 4 meters tall, but despite its monumental height and the title’s reference to a totem figure, it seems modest. If one looks at the sculpture from its short side, it is almost reduced to a line. From the other side, it is, however, broader and sticks out in relation to its surroundings. Independent from which angle one sees the sculpture, it stands with tranquility and security, and cuts its silhouette into its environment.

Ellsworth Kelly has through an over 60-year-long career had solo exhibitions at institutions like The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Guggenheim, all in New York. He has also exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Tate Modern in London, and Haus der Kunst in Munich. His artworks have been acquired by collections such as Centre Pompidou in Paris, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, and Tate Modern in London. Kelly lives and works in Spencertown, New York.

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