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Ellsworth Kelly (American, 1923–2015)
Kelly’s encounter with Jean (Hans) Arp’s collages “arranged according to laws of chance” in February 1950 will have a profound impact on the work of the young artist. At that time, chance begins to play an increasingly larger role in Kelly’s art, and Seine is an early and accomplished example. In creating the painting—a representation of light flickering on the wavering surface of the Seine River translated into a geometric pattern—the artist incorporated chance into the process, pulling numbers from a box and darkening the corresponding blocks of a modular grid.

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