The abstract painting Red Curve II fights against a figure/ground relationship with its simplified form and colour. Yet the curve can be read as recession and imply a landscape or horizon. Ellsworth Kelly did, in fact, look to nature to find the structures he employed in his art. In 1970 the artist left New York City to move to the country. Kelly saw shapes that interested him in shadows cast over landscape and architecture. He often took those contours directly and enlarged them in his paintings. By reducing these shapes he intensified their formal quality. In their sobriety the forms become very complex in their visual effect. Kelly asserted: “Instead of making a picture that was an interpretation of a thing seen, or a picture of invented content, I found an object and ‘presented’ itself alone.” The sharp edge and precise delineation of colour led to Kelly’s association with a style referred to as Hard-Edge.
The collection of the Stedelijk Museum contains about 90,000 objects. It is the museum's ambition to present the entire collection on-line. At this moment a selection of 8,000 works is available: more works will be added continuously. In some instances a reproduction cannot be shown due to copyright reasons. For further information please mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the library of the Stedelijk Museum where the collection database gives you access to all the works in the collection.