Artist Mary Kelly is interviewed in The Guardian this week, discussing her own work and her views on the recent move towards increasingly hostile international relations and hard borderlines between countries. “Living all over very different places gives you insight about how different cultures and political systems work, but it also shows you in some way how things are connected,” she says.
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Spencetown, New York
Pratt Institute, Brooklyn
Boston Museum School
École des Beaux-Arts, Paris
Kelly is an American painter and sculptor. He is associated with the minimalist school as well as Hard-edge painting and Color field painting. Other staples of his work include a single-color scheme and irregular-shaped canvas, though many believe his flat-paintings to be a rebellion to Abstract Expressionism. He has also been known to create multi-paneled works that can be rearranged to create a new work of art.
His premier solo show was held in 1951 at Paris’ Galerie Arnaud. By 1958, he was experimenting with free-standing sculptures, branching out in medium. One of his more famous pieces from this period is a large-scale, shelf-like installation made of silver aluminum, containing four rows of unevenly spaced, asymmetrical metal shapes, painted a variety of solid colors. In 1973, the first retrospective of his life’s work was shown at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Following the retrospective, he began to experiment with larger sculptures made from steel and aluminum. In 1982, the Whitney Museum of American Art featured a sculpture retrospective of his work and in 1996, the Guggenheim organized a career retrospective which traveled to Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art, the Tate Modern in London and Munich’s Haus der Kunst. He has also been commissioned to create works by the city of Barcelona and by the United States Holocaust Museum.
More recent works include his 2006 series “New Paintings,” simple compositions that typically include two canvases, painted different solid colors, stacked on top of one another, ideally displayed against a vast white gallery wall. His series “Plant Drawings,” created in 1992, features several thin sketches of flowers on a large white paper which overwhelm the subject.
Ellsworth Kelly and Robert Gober at Matthew Marks [ArtObserved]