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Homage to Ellsworth Kelly

April 27–August 25, 2013

Presented on the occasion of the artist's ninetieth birthday, this installation brings together a selection of four works that span Ellsworth Kelly's prolific oeuvre. One of the most prominent artists of the postwar period, Kelly is known for his explorations of contrasting formal relationships: flat color versus depth, shape, and scale. Red Yellow Blue White (1952), a multipanel work the artist produced while living in Paris, propels abstraction and color forcefully into space , while Diagonal with Curve III (1978) incorporates the wall onto which it hangs as part of its composition. These are joined by two examples on loan from a private collection, Black Red-Orange (1966) and Yellow Relief with White (1990), which demonstrate Kelly's evolving approach to revealing the essence of form, line, and color. Throughout the last seven decades, Kelly's works have masterfully redefined the relationship between painting and subjective experience, fusing his world with ours.

Homage to Ellsworth Kelly is complemented by the presentation Ellsworth Kelly: Paris/New York, 1949–1956, on view in gallery 172, and by the installation of Curve I (1973), on loan from the artist, in the Anne d'Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden. The museum joins the Barnes Foundation in celebrating Kelly's contribution to the arts; the Foundation's exhibition Ellsworth Kelly: Sculpture on the Wall runs from May 4 to September 2, 2013.

Main Building


Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Curator of Contemporary Art; and Erica F. Battle, Project Curatorial Assistant, Modern and Contemporary Art

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