Transatlantic Dialogue

Bella Kesoyan
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Bella Kesoyan’s research focuses on the American contemporary artists working in the medium of print- and bookmaking in Paris in the post-war period. The work aims to breach the transatlantic barrier and not only trace the social networks created by the American contemporary artists while they were living in Paris, but also to follow these networks across the Atlantic to establish long-lasting implications of the collaborative work with the graveurs masters in France for the printmaking and artist’s book publishing activities in the United States.

First part of the research aims to discover the strengths of Ellsworth Kelly as a book artist, to decipher and elucidate the instrumental role the book played in his overall artistic development, to follow the trail of connections and encounters that led him to discover this multifaceted medium and, lastly, to introduce the reader to the adventurous, inventive, and fearless approach Ellsworth Kelly cultivated when creating the publications. The analysis is comprised of two main parts. First, the paper explores the social circle and the discourse the artist was engaged with during his time in Paris and their importance to Kelly’s development in the field of artist’s book. The chapter also examines Kelly’s collaboration with Marcel Durassier, the master craftsman of Atelier Maeght who played an essential role in the artist’s development as a printmaker. The second part of the analysis provides a parallel side-by-side study of the two completed artist’s books by Ellsworth Kelly, Line Form Color of 1951 and Un Coup de dés of 1992.

Bella’s further research will focus on the network at the heart of which lies a group of Abstract Expressionists: Sam Francis, Claire Falkenstein, Joan Mitchell, Wallace Ting and Shirley Jaffe.

You can view Bella’s profile at The Courtauld here