Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
Ellsworth Kelly was born in Newburgh, New York in 1923. His first one-person exhibition was held in 1951 in Paris, where he was studying on the G.I. Bill following World War II. Kelly returned to the United States in 1954, renting a studio in downtown New York, and his position among America's most esteemed painters began to take form. Since that time, the artist's work has been the subject of numerous major retrospectives worldwide and is presently included in all of the most important public collections of contemporary art. Kelly currently lives and works in upstate New York.
Published by RADIUS BOOKS. Text by Carter E. Foster.
The only building the artist designed, Austin is Kelly’s most enduring legacy In January 2015, the renowned American artist Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015) gifted to the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas, the design concept for his most monumental work. A 2,715-square-foot stone building with luminous colored glass windows, a totemic wood sculpture and 14 black-and-white marble panels, the work is titled Austin, following the artist’s tradition of naming particular works after the places for which they are destined. The structure is the only building the artist designed, despite Kelly’s lifelong interest in architecture and architectural form dating back to his earliest window studies made while living in Paris in the 1940s. Envisioned by Kelly as a site for joy and contemplation, Austin is a cornerstone of the Blanton’s permanent collection and a new icon for the city in which it stands. This comprehensive volume from Radius Books provides a thorough look at the project, from its first inception to its current position as one of the artist’s most important and enduring works. An incisive essay by Carter E. Foster, deputy director of curatorial affairs at the Blanton Museum of Art, includes archival material, drawings, historic photographs and nearly all related works Kelly created as he developed the building’s design.
Published by Actes Sud. Edited by Éric de Chassey.
This catalog accompanies an exhibition of works by Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015) at the Lambert Collection in Avignon, focusing on 54 prints donated to the French National Art History Institute by Kelly’s partner, Jack Shear, in addition to previously unexhibited paintings, artist’s books, drawings and collages. The collection shows how, throughout his career, Kelly experimented with the possibilities that printed images offer, from his first lithographs produced in Paris in 1949 to his monumental works on paper of the 2000s. Color reveals unknown aspects of the artist's work, in particular a series of abstract color lithographs and images of planets produced in Paris in the mid-1960s. Also featured are Kelly’s series of variations from 1988 in which he uses his own face or the faces of friends as a motif.
Published by Matthew Marks Gallery. Text by Christine Mehring.
In the late 1970s Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015) was commissioned by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to create an artwork for the lobby of a new office building underway in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Kelly responded with one of his most ambitious artworks to date, Color Panels for a Large Wall, an 18-panel painting executed in two versions. The larger, at over 125 feet wide, was the biggest painting he had ever made, and its trajectory would pass through not just Cincinnati but also Amsterdam, New York and Munich before ending up at its permanent home, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, where it has been prominently installed in the I.M. Pei–designed East Building since 2004.The smaller version, over 30 feet wide, remained in the artist's possession. This catalog tells the complete story of these two remarkable paintings.
PUBLISHER Matthew Marks Gallery
BOOK FORMAT Clth, 8.5 x 9.75 in. / 88 pgs / 52 color / 12 bw.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 4/23/2019 Forthcoming
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: SPRING 2019 p. 119
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9781944929145TRADE List Price: $45.00 CDN $62.00
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STATUS: Forthcoming | 4/23/2019
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Published by Matthew Marks Gallery. Text by Branden W. Joseph.
“My later paintings have all the early paintings inside them,” Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015) once observed.
These final paintings, made in the months leading up to his death in December 2015, further develop the non-compositional strategies he pioneered in the late 1940s and pursued throughout his life, including monochrome paintings, shaped canvases and joined panels.
The book also includes 16 photographs by Jack Shear of Kelly’s studio as he left it on his final day of painting—a poignant record of his seven-decade advancement of a singular artistic vision.
PUBLISHER Matthew Marks Gallery
BOOK FORMAT Clth, 10 x 10 in. / 64 pgs / 22 color / 16 duotone.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 9/26/2017 Active
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: FALL 2017 p. 127
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9781944929077TRADE List Price: $40.00 CDN $54.00
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Published by Matthew Marks Gallery. Text by Briony Fer.
For almost seven decades, Ellsworth Kelly (born 1923) has redefined abstraction in art. His work has become iconic for its emphasis on form, color and relief, yet he harnesses these basic elements, in all their apparent simplicity, to deliver an astonishing array of effects. Ellsworth Kelly: Outside In is, likewise, more than the sum of its parts. With an oversize format and generous images, the book introduces the artist's latest body of work in stunning color. Its introductory essay, by art historian Briony Fer, provides insight into Kelly's perpetual movement between inside and outside, past and present, two dimensions and three.
PUBLISHER Matthew Marks Gallery
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 9.75 x 12.75 in. / 56 pgs / 30 color / 3 bw.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 8/25/2015 Out of print
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: FALL 2015 p. 130
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9781880146903TRADE List Price: $35.00 CDN $40.00
Alongside his geometrical paintings, Ellsworth Kelly, one of the most important living American painters, is famous for his drawings of plants, flowers, and leaves. His works demonstrate unassuming techniques that emphasize the simplicity of form, frequently enhanced by bright colors.
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PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9783829605755RETAIL List Price: $95.00 CDN $95.00
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Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Text by Ann Temkin.
In celebration of Ellsworth Kelly’s ninetieth birthday in May 2013, The Museum of Modern Art will present the first exhibition in 40 years of all fourteen paintings that comprise the Chatham series of works the artist produced after leaving New York City for Spencetown, in upstate New York, in 1970. The series has not been exhibited in its entirety since it was presented at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, in 1972. The Chatham Series, published in conjunction with the exhibition, is a richly illustrated exploration of this key moment in Kelly’s career. The 14 large-scale paintings he produced there all rely on a single formal concept—each is made of two joined canvases of pure monochrome color—yet the works vary in color and proportion from one to the next. An essay by Ann Temkin traces the artist’s explorations of shape, color and spatiality from the early 1950 to today.
Published by Matthew Marks Gallery. Text by Michael Duncan.
Los Angeles documents six new two-panel paintings by Ellsworth Kelly, each made from a single shaped canvas featuring a dramatic curve carefully painted with many coats of a bright color (blue, green, yellow, orange). These curved panels are attached to a rectangular canvas painted in a contrasting color. Also reproduced here are a group of 1952–54 collages that Kelly made in Paris as a young man, including “Study for Black and White Panels,” as well as the 1966 painting “Black over White.” All of these works provide the inspiration for Kelly’s monumental sculpture installed on the façade of the Matthew Marks Gallery. Among his largest works, Kelly’s new Los Angeles sculpture is the first to incorporate a building’s architecture into his own work: in one succinct gesture, the gallery’s entire façade has become part of his sculpture.
The paintings of Ellsworth Kelly (born 1923) are famous for their hard edges, minimalist abstraction and above all, their bright, vibrant colors. Less known are the black-and-white drawings, collages and paintings that preceded or accompanied many of them, despite the fact that they make up roughly 20 percent of his total output. Ellsworth Kelly: Black & White and the exhibition it accompanies bring together the artist’s color-free work for the first time, and offer a fresh take on his long career, emphasizing his use of shape, contrast, texture and his incorporation of such everyday objects as a broken windowpane, a handrail shadow or the leaf of a plant into his abstraction. This catalogue makes clear that the scale of contrast between black and white was key to Kelly’s artistic self-discovery and subsequent development, and is crucial to any proper understanding of his oeuvre.
Published by Matthew Marks Gallery. Text by Robert Storr.
This monograph presents 13 paintings and one sculpture that demonstrate a new refinement in Ellsworth Kelly's work. In each of the paintings a rectangular canvas is painted with numerous layers of white paint, on top of which the artist affixes a (usually) black canvas. With their sharp diagonals and dramatic curves, these reliefs are among the most dynamic of Kelly's career.
Published by MFA Publications. Text by Brenda Richardson.
Ellsworth Kelly describes the 30 wood sculptures he created over the span of four decades between 1958 and 1996 as his “totems.” This body of work, although only a small proportion of the artist's lifetime sculpture and far less known than his work in metal, has a talismanic intimacy for Kelly that distinguishes it from the rest of his hard-edged oeuvre. Ellsworth Kelly: Wood Sculpture presents a retrospective of these wood sculptures for the first time, offering an investigation into the development of this intensely personal expression of Kelly's commitment to abstract art--and to nature. Many of these wood sculptures, now in private collections, are rarely seen and hardly known by the public. Accompanying a major exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2011, this book speaks to the artist's lifetime of acute visual observation and how deeply “of nature” his work has always been.
A Dialogue on Art and Architecture with Hans Ulrich Obrist
Published by Walther König, Köln/D.A.P..
In this Dialogue on Art and Architecture, Ellsworth Kelly (born 1923) reminisces with Hans Ulrich Obrist about his early career, his teachers (Max Beckmann, Brancusi, Léger and Vantongerloo) and particularly on the relation of his work to architecture: “architects are usually the first people who understand my work,” he tells Obrist here, while describing his many collaborations in this field. Throughout this beautiful publication runs a series of collaged and overpainted postcards by Kelly, dating from 1949 to 1984, which are reproduced here for the first time. These postcards, referred to throughout the dialogue, are unlike any of Kelly's paintings and sculptures, particularly in their use of body imagery; others are closer to familiar Kelly terrain, as projections of torn colored paper forms onto found landscapes and architecture. This artist's book makes a wonderfully unusual record of a warm encounter.
PUBLISHER Walther König, Köln/D.A.P.
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 7.25 x 10 in., 80 pgs / 58 color.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 2/28/2010 Out of print
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: SPRING 2010 p. 56
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9781935202134TRADE List Price: $45.00 CDN $55.00
Published by Matthew Marks Gallery. Text by Johanna Burton.
As spacious and sleek as the work itself, this monograph reproduces two sculptures from 2004 and 2005, along with 17 new paintings dating from 2007 and 2008, eight of which consist of a black or white rectangle with a contrasting black, white or colored rectangle placed diagonally on top and extending beyond the boundary of the canvas below. In the catalogue, Johanna Burton writes, "What Kelly is producing does not end at the edge... a shadow is thrown, but rather than demarcating the shape and space of the work more clearly, it works to utterly confuse what is being looked at: these are paintings that, in places, don't end or, perhaps, refuse to show how they begin. Rather than a perceptual fluke or an experiment in phenomenology, however, this is, I think, a part of the painting." The book accompanies the exhibition held at the Matthew Marks Gallery in the Spring of 2009. All plates are full color.
Published by The Drawing Center. Edited by Catherine de Zegher. Introduction by Yve-Alain Bois and Yves Aupetitallot.
The art world has a longstanding respect for and fascination with artists' sketchbooks. It is within those pages that we get true insight into process--the labor and intensity that constitute a work of art. In the 1960s, this interest in exploration flourished and established drawing as an art form in and of itself. This exhibition catalogue for Kelly's recent show of drawings contains selections from over 20 years of the artist's notebooks including sketches made on magazine advertisements, newspaper clippings, maps, Sno-Cone wrappers, and telegrams. Tablet reveals an artist usually associated with monochromatic forms to be vitally, and sometimes even hilariously, engaged in the everyday world.
Published by Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. Artwork by Ellsworth Kelly. Edited by Julie Dunn. Text by Roberta Bernstein, Sarah Rich, Hugh Davies, Toby Kamps.
Red Green Blue is almost the title of a 1963 painting by Ellsworth Kelly. Red Blue Green, a monumental rectangular oil work, considered a crucial fulcrum point in the artist's career, represents Kelly's concerns about the tension between the figure and the ground, offering two precisely shaped and balanced red and blue forms set against a strongly contrasting green ground. Working within a strict set of limits, he created a string of similarly grand, powerful works and defined many of the ideas about line, form and color that still drive his work today. These works, made from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, established the artist's singular style and his reputation as one of the most innovative abstract painters of the latter half of the twentieth century, one who boldly broke with the strictures of the Abstract Expressionist movement, which dominated painting in the United States in the 1950s. Exploring the complex interplay of invented and real-world inspirations that led to this body of figure/ground paintings, this volume presents a selection of 21 major paintings and 36 related drawings, collages, and photographs from that time period, as well as a new painting from 2002 that reexamines related concerns.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Artwork by Ellsworth Kelly. Contributions by Gottfried Boehm. Text by Viola Weigel.
Ellsworth Kelly's oeuvre can perhaps best be summed up by a phrase from Gottfried Boehm: "In between: this is the shortest formula of his aesthetics." With abstract expressionism at its peak, and based on the traditions of the abstract avant-garde in dialogue with color field painting, Kelly developed a vocabulary that left panel painting behind. In a conscious questioning of the conditions that underlie perception, he not only explores the relationships of painting and wall, sculpture and space, but also, and in particular, the relationship between viewer and work. A selection of more than 40 pieces of art from the past five decades, most of them from the collection of the artist, this book offers an expert investigation into the artistic development of one of the leading exponents of international postwar art.
Published by Matthew Marks Gallery. Essay by Harry Cooper.
Think of an Ellsworth Kelly: an abstract consideration of the relationship between figure and ground; a conscious questioning of the conditions that underlie perception; an exploration of the relationship of painting and wall, sculpture and space, viewer and work. Now think of Ellsworth Kelly: a man, born in the 1920s in New York state, who has been recording his own appearance in ink and graphite over the years, capturing himself as his attitudes changed, his self-perception changed, his face and body aged. Collected here are five decades of Kelly's self-portraits, drawn between 1944 and 1992. The artist sketches himself in all variety of poses: bust, standing, sitting, clothed, nude, laughing, serious, self-possessed. The style of drawing changes as frequently, from line drawing to cubist to comic to naturalistic. Taken together, they present a marvelous portrait of the artist as a man.