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Blue on White

1961 Ellsworth Kelly Born: Newburgh, New York 1923 Died: Spencertown, New York 2015 oil on canvas 85 5/8 x 67 3/4 in. (217.5 x 172.1 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. 1969.47.63 Smithsonian American Art Museum
3rd Floor, East Wing

Gallery Label

Ellsworth Kelly's paintings preserve and intensify his memories of things seen swiftly, fragmented glimpses of "leaves, grass, [and] cracks in the wall." In Blue on White, a curvilinear blue shape dominates the white background. But just as quickly, the angular edges of the white appear to cut into the billowy blue. Kelly isn't interested in assigning meaning to his works. The artist would rather create colors and shapes so intense that they are like three-dimensional objects; as he once said, "To hell with pictures."




paint - oil

fabric - canvas