Broad Gets a Classic Ellsworth Kelly

Eli Broad has bought a 1963 Ellsworth Kelly, Green Blue Red. It’s one of Kelly’s breakout RGB canvases, a shotgun marriage of Old Europe and Buckwild America, biomorphism and minimalism, figure and ground. The little-known Green Blue Red becomes the earliest of seven Kelly paintings and one sculpture in the Broad collection.

The most admired of the c. 1963 RGB paintings is at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (Red Blue Green, below). A 1978 gift of Dr. and Mrs. Jack M. Farris, it anchors the MCASD collection. Though bigger, the San Diego Kelly is essentially a cropping of the Broad painting, with colors swapped and proportions adjusted.

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