2019 55¢ Ellsworth Kelly – "Blue Green"
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: May 31, 2019
First Day City: Spencertown, NY
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 20,000,000
Throughout the twentieth century, Ellsworth Kelly established himself as one of America's leading abstract artists. His work was renowned for the way he could break down everyday items into simple, yet bold shapes. This talent was likely one he developed while birdwatching as a child.
From a young age, Kelly considered himself a loner. He enjoyed spending time outside by himself, particularly along the shores of the Oradell Reservoir. Having learned about birdwatching from his grandmother, Kelly would spend hours watching and identifying the birds. By the time he was nine years old, he had learned the names, colors, and shapes of all the local birds. He studied more birds by consulting the works of John James Audubon and Louis Agassiz Fuertes. While watching these vibrant two- and three-color birds, Kelly zeroed in on their shapes and colors. This extensive study inspired his career as an artist in which nearly all of his works focused on form and color.
In addition to birdwatching, Kelly cited another important inspiration from his childhood – the night he saw a lit-up window from the outside. It was the first time he saw it only as areas of light and color. This even helped Kelly see the world in a new way and influenced his art for the rest of his life.