Ellsworth Kelly: Profile

Ellsworth Kelly, Self-Portrait with Bugle, 1947 (Photograph: Jerry L Thompson/©
Ellsworth Kelly, Self-Portrait with Bugle, 1947 (Photograph: Jerry L Thompson/© Ellsworth Kelly)

Rachel Cooke profiles artist Ellsworth Kelly.

Cooke writes: "It is not only that [Kelly's] paintings are abstract; they are not personal, either. 'I felt very much that painting [in the 50s] was too personal. I wanted to do anonymous work, like the old masters.' He thinks for a moment. 'You know, I met Giacometti. He was fun to be with – though when I went to his studio, it was obvious he wanted to be alone when he was working, so I was only there for a few minutes. But what he and I did was exactly the same: I mean the spirit of it. His figures were surrounded by emptiness; I lost the figure altogether. When he saw my work, he was so excited: he got it immediately.'"