Birds, plants, Matisse, Picasso, camouflage…these were the unexpected influences that led to Ellsworth Kelly becoming one of the most influential, avant-garde artists in America.
“A glass roof of a factory with its broken and patched panes, lines of a roadmap, the shape of a scarf on a woman’s head, a fragment of Le Corbusier’s Swiss Pavilion, a corner of a Braque painting, paper fragments in the street,” Kelly said. “It was all the same: anything goes.”
Kelly died in 2015, at the age of 92, two years after President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal.
In 2019, on what would have been Kelly’s 96th birthday, the U.S. Post Office released a set of postcards and stamps of his works.
Robert Indiana met Ellsworth Kelly in 1956, when they were part of the young art community in Manhattan. They had a romance that didn’t last, but their influence on each others’ work endured.
Indiana died in 2018 at the age of 89, at his home on the island of Vinalhaven, Maine, where he lived in relative seclusion for nearly fifty years.
The artist’s estate has been in dispute since his death. Jamie Thomas, who was Indiana’s friend and caretaker for many years, settled with the estate, though the terms are confidential.
The Star of Hope, the building in which Indiana lived and worked and wanted converted to a museum after his death, is in very bad shape and may not be able to be salvaged, as he wished.
Much of Robert Indiana’s work remains on the island where plans for a museum are still being discussed.
Two of our recent acquisitions are unique HOPE silkscreens, available at VFA.
Yoshitomo Nara‘s first international retrospective was set to open at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in March. The museum, the largest art museum in the western United States, closed at the start of the quarantine. LACMA hoped to be open by now, but is still closed. The Nara exhibit will remain in place until the reopening.
The 60-year-old artist is one of Japan’s most celebrated and revered. His work, influenced by fairy tales, manga and American cartoons, has earned him a universal cult following.
Recent Acquisitions and Featured Works at VFA
Please contact us if you would like more information about any of the fine art work available at VFA.
Kelly Richman-Abdou. Discover the Eclectic Influences That Shaped Ellsworth Kelly’s Avant-Garde Art. My Modern Met. July 12, 2020.
Artfixdaily. Art-Inspired Stamps to Buy Now to Support the USPS. June 25, 2020.
Graham Bowley. The Artist’s Caretaker: Once He Controlled Everything. No More. The New York Times. June 14, 2020.
Caroline Goldstein. Are These New Ellsworth Kelly Stamps the Most Beautiful Stamps Ever? Yes, They Are. artnetnews. May 31, 2019.
Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle. Among Japan’s Most Important Living Contemporary Artists, Yoshitomo Nara Now Wishes To Participate In Small-Scale Exhibitions. Forbes. December 15, 2019.
Cultural News. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Yoshitomo Nara First international retrospective of the artist. March 2020.