“I hope visitors will experience Austin as a place of calm and light. Go there and rest your eyes, rest your mind.”
Austin is the culmination of Ellsworth Kelly’s seven-decade career. It is the only building he ever designed, though his painting and sculpture were always integrally connected to architecture and space. In Austin, Kelly developed a structure in tandem with multiple artistic elements to create a unified aesthetic statement and an immersive environment. Though it has multiple components, each with their own history within his body of work, Kelly conceived Austin as an unchanging, holistic and integrated single work of art. In simplest terms, Austin is a place in which to experience the artist’s color, form and light and the harmonious beauty they create together. Because its interior light–defined by three striking stained glass windows–slowly but constantly changes with the intensity and angle of the sun, Austin is also a time-based work, one intimately attuned to nature. Kelly himself was constantly inspired by the natural world and was deeply aware of how perception can transform ordinary things into extraordinary–even spiritual–experiences, if we open ourselves to that possibility.