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Ellsworth Kelly

In a career spanning almost seventy years, Ellsworth Kelly redefined abstraction in art, evading critical attempts to classify him as a Color Field, hard-edge, or Minimalist painter. Beginning in the late 1940s, he established himself through his drawings, paintings, sculptures, and prints as one of the most important artists of his era. His visual vocabulary was drawn from observation of the world around him — shapes and colors found in plants, architecture, shadows — and has been shaped by his interest in the spaces between places and objects, and between his work and its viewers: "In my work I don't want you to look at the surface; I want you to look at the form, the relationships."

Kelly (1923–2015) has been the subject of major exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and his work is in many public collections, including those of the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, and Tate Modern, London.

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Gallery Exhibitions

Museum Exhibitions
Approaching American Abstraction: The Fisher Collection
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco, CA
Opens May 14, 2016
Crossroads: Carnegie Museum of Art’s Collection, 1945 to Now
Carnegie Museum of Art
Pittsburgh, PA
Jun 22, 2018 - Nov 21, 2021
5 Ways In: Themes from the Collection
Walker Art Center
Minneapolis, MN
Feb 14, 2019 - Sep 12, 2021

406A: In and Out of Paris
The Museum of Modern Art
New York, NY
Oct 21, 2019 - Oct 25, 2021
Postwar Abstraction: Variations
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Oklahoma City, OK
Feb 20, 2020 - Feb 14, 2021
Les Murs Reculent
Musée Matisse
Nice, France
Oct 8, 2020 - Mar 31, 2021

Degree Zero: Drawing at Midcentury
The Museum of Modern Art
New York, NY
Nov 1, 2020 - Feb 6, 2021