Blue Green Black Red
Matthew Marks Gallery
May 5–June 25, 2022
New York 2022a
Matthew Marks is pleased to announce Ellsworth Kelly: Blue Green Black Red in his galleries at 522 West 22nd Street and 523 West 24th Street and Ellsworth Kelly: Postcards at 526 West 22nd Street. The two exhibitions mark the gallery’s thirtieth year of exhibiting Kelly’s work.
Featuring six large-scale paintings and sculptures installed across two galleries, Ellsworth Kelly: Blue Green Black Red focuses on works made in these four colors that Kelly used both separately and in different combinations across various media throughout his career.
Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015) articulated his desire to make architecturally scaled works as early as 1950 in a letter to John Cage: “My collages are only ideas for things much larger — things to cover walls. In fact, all the things I’ve done I would like to see much larger. I am not interested in painting as it has been accepted for so long — to hang on walls of houses as pictures. To hell with pictures — they should be the wall.”
Installed on the floor and measuring over twenty-five by forty feet, Red Floor Panel (1992) is the culmination of Kelly’s desire to extend his canvases into space. One of five floor paintings Kelly made, Red Floor Panel was originally exhibited at the Westfälisches Landesmuseum in Münster, Germany and is being shown here for the first time in thirty years.
Blue Green Black Red (1989) has the same sequence of colors and proportions as the Dallas Panels, commissioned by I.M. Pei for the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. Multi-panel works like this and the later Blue Red Green Black(2004) exemplify Kelly’s desire to integrate his paintings with their surroundings; to utilize the walls themselves as part of the work.
At 526 West 22nd Street, a selection of Kelly’s postcard collages dating from 1957 to 1998 will be on view. Kelly’s postcards were recently the subject of an exhibition at the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. Perhaps more than any other work by the artist, Kelly’s postcards illustrate his use of found compositions — from nature, architecture, art history, and popular media — to create his singular, abstract forms. Kelly’s appetite for visual inspiration is manifested in these modest works. “What I’ve tried to capture is the reality of flux,” he stated, “to keep art an open, incomplete situation, to get at the rapture of seeing.”
Ellsworth Kelly: Blue Green Black Red at 522 West 22nd Street and 523 West 24th Street and Ellsworth Kelly: Postcards at 526 West 22nd Street are on view from May 6 to June 25, 2022, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The exhibitions will open on Thursday, May 5, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.[More Information]