Kelly on chance and painting
SFX: Kelly naming colors punctuated slot machine clacking and dings to give a sense of them popping up at random
Green and black and white.
Yellow green… green, orange (fades under)
When Ellsworth Kelly made this painting, he wasn’t calling the shots. He left it all…
SFX: the pull of a slot machine arm
SFX: Slot machine jackpot!
Here’s Sarah Roberts with more of the story.
He was very consciously trying not to be an expressionist painter kind of throwing his own psychology and emotions onto the canvas. There’s a quote where he says: “I want to remove the ‘I made this’ from my work.” So using chance is one strategy of keeping yourself out of the picture. So he came up with a chance system something akin to drawing things out of a hat.
I had numbered the squares, one through eighteen. I had decided that each color had a number.
He just then systematically placed square after square after square in this collage
SFX: Slot machine arm
Dark blue next to a pink next to an orange…
…And created a painting from it.
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