Skip to content

Ellsworth Kelly

Lemon Branch

1965-66 Medium: Lithograph

1965-66
Medium: Lithograph
Sheet size: 35 3/8 x 24 1/8 inches

Frame dimensions: 44 1/4 x 33 1/4 inches
Printer: Imprimerie Arte, Paris
Publisher: Maeght Éditeur, Paris
Catalogue raisonné: Axsom 57
Edition size: 75 + proofs
Signed and numbered in pencil, lower margin

 

$25,000

1965-66 Medium: Lithograph

1965-66
Medium: Lithograph
Sheet size: 35 3/8 x 24 1/8 inches

Frame dimensions: 44 1/4 x 33 1/4 inches
Printer: Imprimerie Arte, Paris
Publisher: Maeght Éditeur, Paris
Catalogue raisonné: Axsom 57
Edition size: 75 + proofs
Signed and numbered in pencil, lower margin

 

$25,000

Description

Lemon Branch is one of 28 works that make up Ellsworth Kelly’s 1964-66 Suite of Plant Lithographs printed with master printer Marcel Durassier at Maeght Éditeur’s Paris workshops. This suite and Kelly’s 1964-65 Suite of 27 Color Lithographs, were the artist's first major lithographic prints. Kelly would revisit the technique and subject matter of these prints several times throughout his career. Although his abstract work and plant lithographs may seem unrelated at first, they stem from the same fascination with nature and form. An avid birdwatcher since youth, Kelly found inspiration for his abstract forms and colors in the shapes and shades he observed in nature. In the plant lithographs Kelly honed in on silhouette, using black lines to render the curves of fruits, branches, and leaves and emphasizing their graphic qualities. These elegant works present the raw form of vegetation as an innately beautiful object. Similarly, the sketch-like quality of the works, achieved through the method of transfer lithography, celebrates the uncluttered beauty of the image.

Kelly stayed in an apartment in Paris above Maeght’s studio when making this suite. With access to the Maeght’s gardens and proximity to an orangerie--a greenhouse built to house flowering trees during the winter--he was immersed in nature. That intimacy with place and plantlife is evident in Kelly’s plant lithographs through composition. In Lemon Branch, he zooms in and viewers feel his concentrated scrutiny. The sinuously curved leaves along the branch fill the sheet’s center. Uninked areas of white French paper reinforce the overall silhouette Kelly drew, posing no distraction to the confident lines of the work.


Ellsworth Kelly’s plant lithographs can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The National Gallery of Art, DC, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Back To Top