Ellsworth Kelly. Colors for a Large Wall. (1951). Oil on canvas. Sixty-four wood panels, overall: 7′ 10 1/2″ × 7′ 10 1/2″ (240 × 240 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist © 2008 Ellsworth Kelly

Color Chart celebrates a paradox: the lush beauty that results when contemporary artists assign color decisions to chance, readymade source, or arbitrary system. Midway through the twentieth century, long-held convictions regarding the spiritual truth or scientific validity of particular colors gave way to an excitement about color as a mass-produced and standardized commercial product. The Romantic quest for personal expression instead became Andy Warhol’s “I want to be a machine;” the artistry of mixing pigments was eclipsed by Frank Stella’s “Straight out of the can; it can’t get better than that.” Color Chart is the first major exhibition devoted to this pivotal transformation, featuring work by some forty artists ranging from Ellsworth Kelly and Gerhard Richter to Sherrie Levine and Damien Hirst.

731 250
Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today
Hardcover, 248 pages
Out of stock

Organized by Ann Temkin, Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art.

The exhibition is supported by Benjamin Moore Paints.

Generous funding is provided by Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley and by Glenstone Foundation, Mitchell P. Rales, Founder.

Additional support is provided by Cultural Services, Embassy of France in the United States and by The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art.

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