"I have grown fond of the pared-down tools of line, form and colour and the bountiful yield of their juxtapositions, without the need of references or symbolic otherness to give them meaning. The tension of exquisite junctions and disjunctions achieved by a process of patient build-up of papered and painted layers and edge-to-edge arrangements, makes for a fine focus of meditative work. Though the work has formal and austere footings the efforts of edit and re-edit seems to create sensual surfaces that expose a history of tactile decisions".
Robert Kelly is a modern American artisan best known for his collaged geometric abstract paintings. With his conflating plans of creativity and world history, structures hypotheses, and Post-Minimalist abstraction, he works within the formal languages of painting and printmaking. Kelly was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States, in 1956, and received his Bachelor of Arts in 1978 from Harvard University in Cambridge. Kelly's practice is cognizant through a substantial amount of travel, where he collects material for his paintings, collaging and printing them into his works. Kelly builds up his canvases with layers of ephemera accumulated in the course of his travel, incorporating everything from old postcards to handwritten letters, stereoscopic slides and antique botanical prints. The treatment of his painting surface is tender and sensitive, but complex, deep, and full of textural, and tactile details.
Kelly's works investigate the idea of duality through compositions and shapes that reflect, oppose or imitate each other. Influenced by the De Stijl and Bauhaus movements as well as Hans Arp, Constantin Brancusi, Alexander Calder and Ellsworth Kelly, Kelly's paintings offer viewers a visceral immersion into the world as seen and created through his layered artistic vision.
Kelly's works have been acquired by notable public and private collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Milwaukee Art Museum and the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum among others.