Ellsworth Kelly: Plant Drawings

Though best known as a painter of scrupulous hard-edge abstractions, Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015) saw drawing plants as playing a central role in his art. “The drawings from plant life seem to be the bridge to the way of seeing that brought about the paintings in 1949,” Kelly wrote in 1969. That way of seeing, he said, was “the basis for all my later work.” The rigorous and exacting observation of the natural world that Kelly used to make his plant drawings―a practice he continued through his whole career―helped him to refine his distinctly direct brand of minimal abstraction.