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Broad Gets a Classic Ellsworth Kelly

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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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  1. It never ceases to amaze me how horribly Ellsworth Kelly paintings reproduce–look at the two jpegs posted here (which, as you say, are supposed to be basically the same colors) and you will notice how significantly different they appear. Whether digital or on analog slides, the color relationships just never remain the same….

  2. by Jeffrey Collins

    I totally agree with Beth. Color paintings, minimal paintings, reductive paintings, whatever you wanna call them. Never extrapolate what we see in person. Which makes the process of viewing all the more intense when we finally get to see the work in person. One reason I prefer installation photos of paintings.

  3. That point is true for all artworks too—the experience of seeing them in person is incomparable to their reproduction in print or on the web; especially for minimalist works such as these, though.

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  4. Hardly. Bad art always looks better online or in reproduction, makes the colors richer and more seperation, more depth appearance. Kelly is boring either way, but easily written off for what it is, meaningless design. So one doesnt waste ones time on framed wallpaper for fadists.

    Miro, de Stael or Soulages he aint. Americans tend to be grossly overrated. “We” won the war and the CIA backed up the supposed superiority of our “freedom” and “creativity”.
    PC PR has dumbed us down to manageable lemmings.

    art collegia delenda est

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