2019 55¢ Ellsworth Kelly – "Meschers"
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: May 31, 2019
First Day City: Spencertown, NY
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 20,000,000
Ellsworth Kelly took inspiration from the world around him. Everything he saw was art. His way of viewing the world and creating that art was influenced by a number of sources.
The most formative time in Kelly's life was his six years in Paris where he met several artists who introduced him to new ways of creating art. Ralph Coburn taught him about automatic drawing (drawing without looking at the paper). He also met Jean Arp, who utilized chance and collage in his art. Kelly was also influenced by Constantin Brancusi's simplification of natural shapes. And while he never met Picasso, he was deeply inspired by his paintings.
Kelly said his visit to Claude Monet's studio in 1952 changed him. He was drawn to Monet's water lily murals, which were unlike anything he had ever seen. Kelly saw them as "beautiful, impersonal statements," and in later years, said that even though his work didn't look the same, he wanted it to have the same spirit.
Kelly was also influenced by Henri Matisse and said he made him want to draw. Matisse's influence is evident in Kelly's drawings – both were able to convey shape and volume with simple lines. He was so affected by Monet and Matisse that in his later years, he organized exhibitions of their work along with his, showing the profound influence they had on his art.