Blanton Museum of Art at University of Texas
February 18, 2018
World Premiere, February 18th, 2018, 12:30 p.m.
The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin is pleased to announce Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin, a 2,715 square foot stone building with colored glass windows, a totemic wood sculpture, and fourteen black-and-white stone panels in marble and granite, and the inauguration of the first and only building the artist designed into the museum’s permanent collection. A gift of the artist as a design and concept to the museum in January 2015, Austin’s title honors the artist’s tradition of naming particular works after the places to which they are connected. Austin, envisioned as a site for joy and contemplation, will become a cornerstone of the Blanton’s permanent collection.
Built along the sight lines of the State Capitol, Austin will be nestled within one of the largest green spaces on the university’s campus. Austin will welcome students and visitors to the museum and offer a place of reflection. Inside the work, visitors will discover a redwood totem and fourteen black-and-white marble panels—all designed by the artist. Visitors will also experience the ephemeral beauty of the Texas sun shining through the vibrant windows, representing the first time Kelly renders his celebrated color spectrum in glass and light.
Austin continues the tradition of modernist artist-commissioned buildings into the twenty-first century. This distinguished tradition includes the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas, and Henri Matisse’s Chapelle du Rosaire in Southern France. Austin is unique from these precedents in that it has no religious affiliation, and Kelly designed every facet of the work.
“I hope visitors will experience Austin as a place of calm and light.” – Ellsworth Kelly[More Information]