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An Explosive Piece Essay

1113 words - 5 pages

Sherman 1

“An Explosive Piece” Kelsey Sherman Professor Jill Palacki ART 101-53 December 11, 2013


Sherman 2

After visiting the Philadelphia Art Museum, I chose to looking Ellsworth Kelly, and the “November Painting.” Kelly is a Modern American artist from New York. He studied art at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn from 1941-1943, and also studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from 1946-1948. Kelly travel to France in 1949 and infrequently attended classes at Ecole des beaux-arts where he was introduced to Surrealism and Neo-Plasticism that inspired many of his future art pieces (Guggenheim). Ellsworth Kelly’s “November Painting” was painted in 1950. It is ...view middle of the document...

” Minimalism style is a reaction against Abstract Expressionism. “Minimalism is the essence or identity of a subject through eliminating all non-

Sherman 3 essential forms, features, or concepts” (Adams). Key characteristics of minimalism art were the use of geometric forms, simplicity, equality of space, and repetition. Artists that worked in this style believed “more is less, and less is more” (Adams). The Minimalism technique is evident in Kelly’s painting. The shapes that are scattered across the canvas are geometric in style, and simple in forms, which is a characteristic of art of this style. The use of only two colors in the painting reflects the simplicity that minimalists adored and strived for. The painting also maintains a rhythm because it is balanced across the entire canvas (Adams). Although this piece did not directly affect society in a tremendous way or create a movement, “November Painting” does reflect society as a whole during the early 1950’s. The pieces of torn up paper resembles an explosion almost in that they are tiny bits of what was once a whole object. During this time period there are a couple of events that had everybody, not just Americans, questioning explosions. There are countless events that occurred in the years leading up to the creation of Ellsworth Kelly’s painting that left the audience to ponder their own which events may have influenced his artwork. In 1941, the Japanese launched an attack on Pearl Harbor, leading to the United States of America’s involvement in World War II. Viewers cannot help but make that connection when seeing Kelly’s piece because the war had a large impact on lived. Another even that happened was in 1948 when “The Big Bang Theory” was formulated. It was the belief that the universe originated from a catastrophic explosion of matter. This is intriguing and definitely brings the audience to ponder the correlation of this theory and this piece of art. The way the piece started from a drawling, and then torn into pieces resembles the hypothesis that the planets’ existence may have possibly resulted from a crash that dispersed particles throughout the universe (Rosenberg).


Sherman 4 When I sat at the museum and was starting at this painting, a lot of different things went

through my head of what it could represent before I went home and...

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