Ellsworth Kelly. Relief with Blue. 1950

Ellsworth Kelly Relief with Blue 1950

  • MoMA, Floor 4, 406 The David Geffen Galleries

In 1949 Kelly saw a Parisian repertory production of Hamlet that relied only on black and gray curtains of varying depths and widths for changes of scene and colored lights to change the mood. Kelly’s sketch of one particular curtain design inspired this wood construction. The juxtaposition of the rectangle with the curvilinear panels is a formal theme that continued to preoccupy him, as did the bright light–blue color first used in this work. The curved wood components anticipate the shaped canvases of his New York work.

Gallery label from Focus: Ellsworth Kelly, 2007.
Oil on wood
44 7/8 x 17 1/2" (114 x 44.5 cm)
Promised gift of Bettina and Donald L. Bryant, Jr. in honor of Kirk Varnedoe
Object number
© 2020 Ellsworth Kelly
Painting and Sculpture

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