On the 100th Birthday of Ellsworth Kelly

A Geometry Juggler

Hard Edge is a particular movement from the mid-20th century, a time when abstract art was flourishing and constantly giving birth to new trends. Ellsworth Kelly was one of the most important figures in this genre. He would have been 100 years old today. The Art.Salon commemorates this geometry juggler.

May 31, 2023
Ellsworth Kelly arrives at LACMA’s Gala Opening of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum on February 9, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA.
Originally posted to Flickr as Ellsworth Kelly, Originator: Jeremiah Garcia, Use according to Creative Commons "Attribution 2.0 generic" license*
Ellsworth Kelly arrives at LACMA’s Gala Opening of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum on February 9, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA.

A master of Color Field painting and Hard Edge: Ellsworth Kelly was a master of geometric form par excellence. A contemporary of Alexander Calder, Jean Arp, and Robert Indiana, he helped create a new genre in the still young field of abstract art. His milestones: Cité (1951, San Francisco Museum of Art), Colors for a Large Wall (1951, MoMA), or Blue Green Red (1963, Met Museum) – the shapes and colors have a haunting effect because of their format. Today, many young people probably look at his paintings as a matter of course, without knowing their origins - they seem familiar. Their creator, Ellsworth Kelly, would have turned 100 today.

Kelly was born in 1923 in Newburgh, New York. During World War II, he studied at the Pratt Institute in New York City until he served as a soldier in the Battle of Brittany in 1943. After the war, he attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and then the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris. While in France, he also taught at the American School and met influential contemporaries. Back in the U.S. in 1954, Kelly's career took off; he moved into a studio in the neighborhood of Robert Indiana, Agnes Martin, and James Rosenquist, held his first solo exhibitions, and even participated in documenta III in 1964.

In the decades that followed, he received awards such as the Painting Prize of the Art Institute of Chicago (1974) and became a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1974). Even in his old age, he curated exhibitions of Henri Matisse's drawings (2014, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, Massachusetts) and of his works in dialogue with those of Monet  (2015, Clark Art Institute, Massachusetts). In 2015, at the age of 92, Kelly died in Spencertown, New York.

 

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Art.Salon

Auction Results of Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly - Untitled (Black Variant)
Auction
20th/21st Century: Amsterdam
April 2024
Christies, Amsterdam (Online Auction)
Est.: 20.000 - 30.000 EUR
Realised: 30.240 EUR
Details
Ellsworth Kelly - Daffodil (G. 2013, A. 315)
Auction
Editions & Works on Paper
April 2024
Phillips, New York Auction
Est.: 6.000 - 8.000 USD
Realised: 13.970 USD
Details
Ellsworth Kelly - Blue, from Fourth Curve Series (G. 1988, A. 304)
Auction
Editions & Works on Paper
April 2024
Phillips, New York Auction
Est.: 5.000 - 7.000 USD
Realised: 10.160 USD
Details
Ellsworth Kelly - Untitled (for Obama), from Artists for Obama II
Auction
Editions & Works on Paper
April 2024
Phillips, New York Auction
Est.: 3.000 - 5.000 USD
Realised: 3.810 USD
Details
Ellsworth Kelly - The Mallarmé Suite (A. 266.1-4)
Auction
Editions & Works on Paper
April 2024
Phillips, New York Auction
Est.: 15.000 - 25.000 USD
Realised: 30.480 USD
Details
Ellsworth Kelly - Colored Paper Image XX (Brown Square with Blue)
Auction
Prints and Multiples
April 2024
Christies, New York
Est.: 10.000 - 15.000 USD
Realised: 11.970 USD
Details
Ellsworth Kelly - Colored Paper Image XVIII (Green Square with Dark Gray)
Auction
Prints and Multiples
April 2024
Christies, New York
Est.: 10.000 - 15.000 USD
Realised: 11.340 USD
Details
Ellsworth Kelly - Colored Paper Image XVII (Blue Black Brown)
Auction
Prints and Multiples
April 2024
Christies, New York
Est.: 10.000 - 15.000 USD
Realised: 21.420 USD
Details
Ellsworth Kelly - Colored Paper Image XV (Dark Gray and Blue)
Auction
Prints and Multiples
April 2024
Christies, New York
Est.: 10.000 - 15.000 USD
Realised: 17.640 USD
Details
Ellsworth Kelly - Colored Paper Image XIII (Yellow Green Black Blue Orange)
Auction
Prints and Multiples
April 2024
Christies, New York
Est.: 20.000 - 30.000 USD
Realised: 37.800 USD
Details

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