At 90, Ellsworth Kelly Brings Joy With Colorful Canvases

American artist Ellsworth Kelly turned 90 in May, and there’s been much celebration. On Wednesday, President Obama presented Kelly with the National Medal of Arts. Meanwhile, museums around the country are showing his work: Kelly sculptures, prints and paintings are on view in New York, Philadelphia and Detroit. In Washington, D.C., the Phillips Collection is featuring his flat geometric canvases, layered to create wall sculptures.

These Kelly works seem baffling at first, maybe scoff-worthy — simple, solid canvases of color. But if you crouch and bend to inspect the shadows that the combinations of canvases cast on the gallery walls, you can start having fun with them.

At the Phillips Collection, museum director Dorothy Kosinski does exactly that. “With the shadows he introduces maybe another color, a gray, and certainly another dimension,” Kosinski says. “It almost reads like a box.”

The Phillips is showing seven Kelly works, each

Article source: http://wunc.org/post/90-ellsworth-kelly-brings-joy-colorful-canvases

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