Blanton Museum of Art presents "Ellsworth Kelly: Postcards" closing day
Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015), whose monumental last work, Austin, is in the Blanton’s permanent collection, is one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His abstract paintings, sculptures, and prints are masterworks in the exploration of line, form, and color. In a lesser-known part of his practice, Kelly made collaged postcards, some of which served as exploratory musings and others as preparation for larger works in other media. From 1949 to 2005, Kelly made just over 400 postcard works. They show a playful, unbounded space of creative freedom for the artist and provide an important insight into the way Kelly saw, experienced, and translated the world in his art.
"Ellsworth Kelly: Postcards" will present a comprehensive survey of Kelly’s postcard collages, with 150 works on view. Many postcards reveal specific places where Kelly lived or visited, such as Paris, where Kelly lived in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and where he often returned, or other areas in New York City - My New Studio (1970), is a picture postcard of downtown Old Chatham, New York, with a stapled arrow pointing to the second-floor windows of his new studio building. This kind of overt biography and revealing details make the postcard collages unique among Kelly’s works. Flashes of the artist’s playfulness show through, which is less visible in his formally rigorous paintings and sculpture.
"Ellsworth Kelly: Postcards" is organized by The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College and curated by Ian Berry in collaboration with the Ellsworth Kelly Studio, and with Jessica Eisenthal, Independent Curator.
The Blanton’s presentation is organized by Veronica Roberts, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.