ELLSWORTH KELLY (1923-2015)
Ellsworth Kelly was one of the America’s greatest 20th century abstract artists, known for his numerous contributions to the Minimalist, Color Field, and Hard-Edge Abstraction movements. As a proponent of pure color and form, Kelly’s work often consisted of bright, monochromatic shaped canvases and sculptures. He derived much of his source material from the observation of everyday life, and was influenced by painters, Ad Reinhardt and Henri Matisse. Born on May 31, 1923 in Newburgh, New York, he went on to study at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and, after the war, the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Upon returning to New York, he established himself alongside peers Frank Stella and Al Held with his debut solo exhibition at Betty Parsons gallery, rejecting the dominant Abstract Expressionist aesthetic of the day. His work would go on to be exhibited at prominent institutions worldwide, and he would receive numerous public commissions, such as the permanent installation at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. He died on December 27, 2015 at the age of 92 in Spencertown, New York.