Occasionally, a stamp comes around that we just can’t resist–like this upcoming release of stamps featuring the work of the late abstractionist painter Ellsworth Kelly. Kelly, who died in 2015, is known for his joyful, precise colorfield paintings (though his last work was a piece of architecture).
Like other abstract expressionists of his time, including Mark Rothko, Kelly painted large, captivating geometries–often stacking just a few colors atop of one another. But unlike Rothko, Kelly used a straight edge, manicuring his works to a machined perfection. As art critic Richard Dorment put it in 2006 during a Kelly retrospective, “Rothko’s chromatic miasmas are usually read as meditations on life’s big questions. Kelly’s are fusions of intense color and crisp geometric shapes. If they refer to anything outside themselves at all, it is to distant memories of the forms that inspired each abstraction…” In other words, it’s perfectly okay to partake in Kelly’s work for the sake of the work, to simply appreciate that, dang, it looks cool.
Kelly’s razor-sharp shapes scale down perfectly to tiny stamps, with a miniaturized fidelity that just begs to be placed on an envelope and shared with a friend. The stamps will debut later this year for 55 cents. Yes, stamps cost 55 cents now.