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Bay area celebrates Ellsworth Kelly – San Francisco – art exhibition at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Bay area celebrates Ellsworth Kelly – San Francisco – art exhibition at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – Brief Article

Some 58 works by Ellsworth Kelly, the American abstract painter and sculptor best known for his experiments with color, are on view in a new exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art called “Ellsworth Kelly in San Francisco.” Spanning the artist’s career of 50-plus years, the exhibit brings together, for the first time, the 22 pieces the museum acquired from Kelly’s own collection in May 1999. Included are such masterworks as “Cite” (1951), “Red Blue” (1966) and “Curve XXI” (1978-80), as well as major paintings, sculptures, relief works, collages and drawings from private collections throughout the Bay area.

The earliest works on view date from the artist’s student days in Boston just following World War II and his subsequent sojourn in Paris from 1948 to 1954, where he developed and refined his approach to abstraction based on actual observation. Examples include “Self-Portrait with Thorn,” “Mandoria” and “Kilometer Marker.” The exhibit then chronicles Kelly’s move to New York in the mid-1950s, where he developed a biomorphic style that led to his shaped canvases. Among the highlights are “Cite,” a drawing of black and white stripes cut into 20 pieces and arranged randomly; and “Spectrum I” (1953) and “Spectrum Colors Arranged by Chance” (1951-53), where color does not define the form but in itself becomes an individual form. His sculptural output of the 1970s and his dynamic and colorful multipanel works of the last two decades are also included.

SHOW FACTS

“Ellsworth Kelly in San Francisco”

Through Jan. 5, 2003

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Address: 151 Third Street San Francisco, CA

Phone: (415) 357-4000

Web site: www.sfmoma.org

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