April 12, 2013

From San Francisco to Paris: Ellsworth Kelly 90th Birthday Exhibitions

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, will exhibit Ellsworth Kelly’s complete Chatham Series from 1971, the first paintings the artist completed after leaving New York City for upstate New York, where he resides to this day. This is the first time the fourteen paintings in this important series have been shown together in more than forty years (May 25 – September 9, 2013).

The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, will present Ellsworth Kelly: Sculpture on the Wall, featuring five large sculptures made between 1956 and 2012. The exhibition centers around the Sculpture for a Large Wall, 1956-7, originally commissioned for the Philadelphia’s Greyhound Bus Terminal (May 4 – September 2, 2013).

The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., have organized Ellsworth Kelly: Panel Paintings 2004-2009, an exhibition of seven of Kelly’s multi-panel paintings (June 22 – September 22, 2013).

The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., have organized Ellsworth Kelly: Colored Paper Images, including twenty-three works made in 1977 from handmade paper (through December 1, 2013).

Additionally, five international museums have planned special installations of Kelly’s work to coincide with the artist’s birthday (all opening in April or May):

The Tate Modern, London will present Ellsworth Kelly: A 90th Birthday Display, featuring Méditerannée, Kelly’s earliest purely abstract relief, painted in Paris in 1952.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will present Ellsworth Kelly at 90: Paintings from the Paris Years until Today, including six paintings from the 1940s and ‘50s, among them a self-portrait from 1947, as well as a two-panel relief painting from 2011.

The Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris will install a gallery of six Kelly paintings made between 1949 and 2007, including Window, Museum of Modern Art, Paris, 1949, which the artist has called his “first object”.

The Art Institute of Chicago will draw on its extensive collection of Kelly’s work for this exhibition of early drawings and paintings, which will be presented alongside the museum’s two large Kelly sculptures on permanent display: The Chicago Panels, 1988-9 and White Relief, 2009.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art will install two galleries of Kelly’s paintings including important historic works such as White and Black, 1955, as well as Curve I, 1973, the artist’s first outdoor sculpture in weathering steel, in the museum’s garden.

Finally, in New York, the Matthew Marks Gallery will present Ellsworth Kelly at Ninety, an exhibition of new paintings and sculptures at all three of the gallery’s locations (May 10 – June 22, 2013), and the Mnuchin Gallery, in association with Matthew Marks Gallery, will exhibit Ellsworth Kelly: Singular Forms 1966-2009, an exhibition of nine single-panel paintings and sculptures made in a variety of media (April 18 – June 1, 2013).

For further information, please contact Jacqueline Tran at (212) 243-0200, or email