Entirely by coincidence, the MESH team and some friends happened upon Ellsworth Kelly’s studio and home in Spencertown, New York this past week. The 90-year-old artist still produces artwork to this day. Mr. Kelly was feeling under the weather when we approached his home, but his assistants were more than welcoming for us to come visit his studio down the road. His studio and home, designed by Richard Gluckman, reflect the artwork that Kelly has produced for decades, honing in on minimalism and establishing a visual relationship between the parts and the whole.
One cannot overlook the correlation between Kelly’s art and design. Kelly’s practice mainly focuses on perceptions of light, color and space: the essentials. Famous designer quotes reverberated off of the walls and in my head as I inspected the spacious studio.Adolf Loos insisted that “ornament is a crime”. Louis Sullivan coined the phrase “form ever follows function”. Kelly’s work, home, lifestyle, studio and really everything about him follow these principles said by famous critics and designers. When looking at his work scattered about the studio, the Red and Blue Chair designed by Gerrit Rietveld came to mind. Dieter Rams, who inspired the first iPod, held the same values as Kelly. For all I know, Ellsworth directly inspired much of the famous design that surrounds all of us today. It is arrogant to believe that art and design are separate entities. After getting a first hand experience of Kelly’s work and lifestyle, MESH holds Ellsworth Kelly in high regard and believes he will continue to inspire the work of designers and artists alike today just as he has inspired us.