I’m interested in the space between the viewer and the surface of the painting – the forms and the way they work in their surroundings. I’m interested in how they react to a room.
— Ellsworth Kelly
Ellsworth Kelly Prints at the Shaker Museum
Ellsworth Kelly and his husband, photographer Jack Shear, began collecting Shaker furniture in 1970. Like his paintings, prints and sculptures, Kelly realized that the Shaker furniture was, “simple and well-structured and in the same categories that I like to make paintings.”
The couple furnished their home in Columbia County, New York with Shaker furniture and objects. When Kelly died in 2015, the furniture was donated to the Shaker Museum in Mount Lebanon, New York.
It’s easy to see the similarities between the simple, elegant and harmonious designs of both Kelly’s work and Shaker furniture, which led to the current exhibition at the New Britain Museum of American Art. Line and Curve: The Ellsworth Kelly and Jack Shear Shaker Collection from Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon with Prints by Ellsworth Kelly combines furniture from Kelly and Shear’s collection with a selection of iconic Kelly prints from the 1960s through the 1980s. The exhibit at the Shaker Museum will run through December 31, 2018.
Ellsworth Kelly Exhibit at Guild Hall
Ellsworth Kelly studied at the Pratt Institute, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Ecole nationale superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and began his career at a time when other artists were experimenting with Abstract Expressionism, Cubism and Fauvism. Kelly’s minimalist work was not easily categorized and his bold colors, dynamic design and irregularly shaped canvasses had a profound influence on the artists who came after him.
Two of the most significant influences on his work were the birds that he watched with his grandfather and the camouflage unit to which he was assigned, when he joined the Army in 1943. The colors of the birds and the patterns and shadows he designed in the army impacted his art and his career. Kelly’s career spanned more than sixty years. During the 1960s, Kelly took two long sabbaticals in the Hamptons which, according to Guild Hall guest curator Phyllis Tuchman, “his palette became bolder and more assertive, the scale of his canvases grew larger, and his preoccupation with shaping established him as a pioneer of the times.”
Ellsworth Kelly in the Hamptons includes work that Kelly created during those trips. On exhibit are rarely seen paintings, drawings and photographs inspired by the Hamptons. The exhibit, at Guild Hall in East Hampton, New York, runs through October 8, 2018.
Ellsworth Kelly Prints and Vertu Fine Art
Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Ellsworth Kelly or works of the other fine artists available at Vertu Fine Art.
Susan Dunne. Abstract Prints, Shaker Furniture In Juxtaposition At NBMAA The Hartford Courant. August 25, 2018.