© 2019 by Betsy Kellas

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Polyptychs

The word polyptych (POL-ip- tik) comes from the Greek poly, meaning many, and ptyche, meaning fold.

Traditionally, a polyptych was an arrangement of four or more panels hinged and folding together. Polyptychs were commonly created by early Renaissance painters and designed to be altarpieces in churches or cathedrals.

 

Borrowing from this tradition, I am expanding the boundaries of polyptychs.

Bringing together abstract, mixed-media works on panel, paper, and canvas, I make polyptychs of many sizes, including site-specific, polyptych installations using as many as thirty-three paintings and drawings.

 

There is a dynamic that occurs when individual works, strong enough to stand on their own, are placed in close proximity. Each painting affects the others and is affected by them. The vocabulary of line, color, texture and space generate a visual conversation unique to the arrangement and relationships among the components.