Ocula Magazine   |   News   |   Exhibitions   |   Ellsworth Kelly Follow

Ellsworth Kelly's flat, hard-edged paintings convey subtle emotion through a formalism concerned with depth and scale. The late artist's survey will bring some 60 works to Qatar in October.

Ellsworth Kelly Survey to Visit Middle East

Ellsworth Kelly, Painting for a White Wall (1952). Oil on canvas, five joined panels. 60 x 181 cm. Glenstone Museum, Potomac, Maryland. © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation. Photo: Ron Amstutz.

A major exhibition of works by American artist Ellsworth Kelly will soon travel to the Middle East for the first time.

Opening at M7 in Doha, one of a dozen museums operating under Qatar Museums, a Qatari government institution led by the Emir's sister, Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Ellsworth Kelly at 100 presents 60 works tracing Kelly's seven-decade career.

The exhibition is Qatar's latest initiative to rebrand itself and diversify its economy through culture.

Opening on 31 October, the survey, which features the artist's signature hard-edged paintings and photographs, is organised by Glenstone Museum in Maryland, where it opened alongside exhibitions celebrating the artist across the United States last year.

It travels from Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, which holds the artist's last commission made shortly before his death in 2015.

Born in New York in 1923, Kelly studied technical art at the Pratt Institute in the early 1940s. During World War II he served in the U.S. military's camouflage unit where he created decoys out of rubber and wood.

It was in Paris, where Kelly moved in 1948, that he developed his signature style—hard-edged paintings on shaped canvases marked by monochrome palettes of first white, then primary colours.

Returning to New York in 1954, Kelly worked alongside artists such as Agnes Martin, Lenore Tawney, and Jack Youngerman, further probing into painting's capacity to convey dimension and depth, eventually venturing into sculpture.

Ellsworth Kelly, Chatham V: Red Blue (1971). Oil on canvas, two joined panels. 275 x 252 cm. Glenstone Museum, Potomac, Maryland. © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation. Photo: Ron Amstutz.

Ellsworth Kelly, Chatham V: Red Blue (1971). Oil on canvas, two joined panels. 275 x 252 cm. Glenstone Museum, Potomac, Maryland. © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation. Photo: Ron Amstutz.

For American artist Glenn Ligon, Kelly was a 'master of distilling things'. Ligon told Ocula that he thinks of Kelly as an emotional artist, despite usual discussions centring formalist concerns in his work.

Since 2005, Qatar Museums has invested in art projects at home and abroad as part of a larger initiative to become a global 'cultural instigator', as a trustee told The Economist in 2012.

Last month, Qatar Museums and the Municipality of Venice signed a Protocol of Cooperation to enhance collaboration in the cultural and economic sectors. Qatar Airways resumed direct flights to Venice last week.

During the 60th Venice Biennale, the institution is hosting a film exhibition at ACP–Palazzo Franchetti, including works of fiction, animation, and documentary, by some 40 artists from the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa. —[O]

Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Follow Ellsworth Kelly
Stay ahead.
Receive updates on new artworks,
exhibitions and articles.
Your personal data is held in accordance with our privacy policy.
Follow
Do you have an Ocula account?
Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Get Access
Join Ocula to request price and availability of artworks, exhibition price lists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Do you have an Ocula account? Login
What best describes your interest in art?

Subscribe to our newsletter for upcoming exhibitions, available works, events and more.
By clicking Sign Up or Continue with Facebook or Google, you agree to Ocula's Terms & Conditions. Your personal data is held in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Thank you for joining us. Just one more thing...
Soon you will receive an email asking you to complete registration. If you do not receive it then you can check and edit the email address you entered.
Close
Thank you for joining us.
You can now request price and availability of artworks, exhibition price lists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Close
Welcome back to Ocula
Enter your email address and password below to login.
Reset Password
Enter your email address to receive a password reset link.
Reset Link Sent
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Login