Much like a stonemason building a wall, Robert Kelly’s recent work seems to be anchored in a step-by-step process of composing formal puzzles. He has grown fond of the pared-down tools of line, form and color 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’s affection for the likes of Hans Arp, Myron Stout, Tony Smith, Brancusi, Calder and Ellsworth Kelly, plus the Bauhaus Gang, coupled with over 20 years of crafting the surfaces he paints on, gives him a small niche in this intimate investigation of form that he can call his own.
Robert Kelly lives and works in New York. He received his BA from Harvard University in 1978 and has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1983. His work is included in many public and private collections, including The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, Milwaukee Art Museum, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, and The McNay Art Museum.