High noon

Ellsworth Kelly, High Yellow, 1960 Blanton Museum, Austin, TX

Ellsworth Kelly, High Yellow, 1960 Blanton Museum, Austin, TX

It’s a showdown here, folks. Two serious contenders, abstraction vs. realism.  We’re facing off today in Austin, TX on the field of  High Yellow, speaking to Mr. Ellsworth Kelly. Pitting our need for representation against his refusal to represent. Gear up and let’s get it on. Winner takes all.

Round one: the obvious

Us: This is a minimalist landscape, the green is grass, the blue is sky and the yellow is that scorching beast of a  Texas sun.

Kelly: This is greenness, this is blueness, this is yellowness.

Round Two: the memory

Us: Ok, then. This is the yellow ball that finally scored a hole-in-one at Peter Pan putt-putt golf in seventh grade. The night I finally kissed Bethany Mulhaney.

Kelly: This is greenness, this is blueness, this is yellowness.

Us: No fair, you’re using my distrust of simplicity against me. It’s complicated you know.

Round Three: the metaphysical gymnast

Us: This is about the possibility of purity, of perfection – both impossible in life.

This highlights the ironic equation of the cosmos, that blue + yellow=green, every time. But in life inputs rarely equal outputs, anytime.

This is a bridge where representation walks over into abstraction and surrenders to the veracity of color.

Kelly: LOL, this is so simple that it takes a genius to figure it out, huh?

the tie-breaker

Us: You really gonna trash talk me about this fat egg painting?


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