Ellsworth Kelly

  • Born 1923 in Newburgh, NY, USA
  • Died 2015 in Spencertown, NY, USA
Ellsworth Kelly studied art in Brooklyn, Boston, and Paris from 1941 to 1949, with an interruption because of military service during World War II from 1943 to 1945. After completing his studies, he traveled in France, where he met many noted artists such as the sculptor, painter, and poet Jean Arp (1886–1966) and the sculptor, painter, and photographer Constantin Brâncuși (1896–1957). Kelly had his first solo show at the Galerie Arnaud Lefebvre, Paris, in 1951; his first solo exhibition in New York was at the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1956. He is famous for his geometrical abstract paintings—arrangements of carefully composed rectangles of mostly intense colors. Kelly produced multi panel paintings and monochrome canvases of unusual shapes that intersect both painting and sculpture. He also made freestanding sculptures from the late 1950s onward. He was commissioned to create a number of notable public artworks and, beginning with his first retrospective in 1973, his work has been acknowledged in numerous retrospective exhibitions.