Ellsworth Kelly: Postcards
August 27, 2022
November 27, 2022
About the Exhibit
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.
Members get free admission.
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 by Carter E. Foster, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs.
The exhibition and accompanying catalogue are supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, Jack Shear, and the Friends of the Tang.
Ellsworth Kelly: Postcards
Edited by Ian Berry, Jessica Eisenthal. Foreword by Ian Berry. Text by Jessica Eisenthal, Ellsworth Kelly, Lynda Klich, Tricia Y. Paik.
Over the course of more than 50 years, renowned American artist Ellsworth Kelly made approximately 400 postcard collages, some of which served as exploratory musings and others as studies for larger works in other mediums. They range from his first monochrome in 1949 through his last postcard collages of crashing ocean waves, in 2005.
Ellsworth Kelly: Postcards is the most extensive publication of Kelly’s lifelong practice of collaged postcards.
The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College
Saratoga Springs, New York
July 10, 2021 – November 28, 2021
Blanton Museum of Art
August 27, 2022 – November 27, 2022
Feature Image Credit
Ellsworth Kelly, Study for Dark Gray and White Rectangle I, 1977, 4 x 6 in. Collection of Ellsworth Kelly Studio and Jack Shear, ©Ellsworth Kelly Foundation