Paul Kelpe (American, 1902-1985)

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• Flat and subtly shaded three-dimensional forms are integrated in this elegant abstract composition. Visual harmony was Kelpe’s main concern. He said, “I compose my paintings of form and color, like a musician composes music with rhythm and sound.”

• Born in Germany, Kelpe moved to Chicago and worked in the style of European abstract painters even though his American contemporaries favored representational depictions of farming and urban life. Because the Federal Art Project’s Chicago branch required artists to work in a representational style, Kelpe moved to New York, where he created some of the first abstract murals painted under federal funding.

Object Information

Paul Kelpe (American, 1902-1985)
creation date
watercolor on paper
mark descriptions
signed in image, L.R.: PAUL KELPE
accession number
credit line
Onya La Tour Collection
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

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