Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Review: Up, Down and Other Opposites with Ellsworth Kelly


Ellsworth Kelly's paintings and sculptures take center stage in this creative visual presentation of opposites. The pairings range from together/apart to vertical/horizontal, from full/empty to front/back [of a canvas!], providing readers with both expected and unexpected visual vocabulary. Images include Ellsworth's most famous works, as well as some lesser-known pieces, providing a stunning representation of colors and dimensions.

Concept books are a popular genre for board books. This series uses those concepts (in this case, opposites) to also introduce the work of a particular artist. I had never heard of Kelly myself, but abstract art is a perfect foil for this genre, with its simple clear lines and shapes. At times it seems as if the text is being forced to fit the art (I don't know that I would say a half is an opposite of a whole), and it would have helped if the opposites in texture had surfaces you could feel as well, but overall the comparisons are clear enough for little ones. The text goes a bit further than some others in that it actually uses the word "opposites" over and over, whereas most just offer examples.

A solid addition to your board book collection. Other books in this series include:
Blue and Other Colors with Henri Matisse
Squares and Other Shapes with Josef Albers
Birds and Other Animals with Pablo Picasso
One and Other Numbers with Alexander Calder

We will most likely be ordering these for our collection soon!

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