“For me, I just want to make works that mean something. And I don’t know where it comes from or what it means all the time. How can you know what abstraction means? So much abstraction that I see doesn’t have any meaning. It looks like design, a set-up. I want something that continues over time.” [Ellsworth Kelly in conversation with Gwyneth Paltrow]
“When I got to Paris I did some Picasso type paintings of figures in the first six months. Then I stopped. I said, you know, “I didn’t come to Paris to [make] paintings that have been done. Saw a show in which the paintings were quite small. And I saw the windows which were about 15 feet. And I kept saying, “You know, I like these windows better than these paintings here.” I said, “I have to have one.” So, I painted the window. I made it so big I didn’t want to tell anyone what it was. I felt that it wasn’t really kosher to to do something like that. Then I began seeing things in Paris that I lifted. I made drawings of things, ideas of structure.
…“La Combe” developed from shadows on a stair case. I was fascinated by shadows. I felt like I was picking up something that was mysterious. I’m attracted to color and shape. I feel that people want a content. They’ve always had a content. You know, the figurative – right away – is a story. Abstraction has always been, “oh, it’s abstract.”
…I think my pictures need time. Time is very important with art. And a show, even though it’s a couple of weeks, or sometimes a month, that’s not enough time. You go to the gallery once. You see it ten minutes or so, then walk on. I like to leave my paintings – to be mysterious. I like them to be open. I feel like they have to be looked at. They have to be investigated.” [Interview with Ellsworth Kelly – SF MOMA]