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In celebration of Ellsworth Kelly's 90th birthday in May 2013, The Museum of Modern Art presents an exhibition of the first series of paintings the artist made after leaving New York City for Spencertown, in upstate New York, in 1970. His studio in the nearby town of Chatham was an abandoned theater, and it was more spacious than any the artist had previously occupied. The 14 paintings in the Chatham series, all produced during the year following Kelly's arrival, rely on a single formal concept: each ell-shaped work is made of two joined canvases of pure monochrome color. The works vary in color and proportion from one to the next; careful attention was paid to the size of each panel and the color selected in order to achieve balance and contrast between the two. Kelly developed the concept of painting on joined panels while working in Paris in the early 1950s, and it is an approach he continues to explore in his current work.
The series has not been exhibited in its entirety since it was presented at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, in 1972, just a year after the paintings were finished. Reuniting this critical series provides a welcome opportunity to investigate a key moment in Kelly's artistic development.
Venue Description: MoMA's rich and varied collection constitutes one of the most comprehensive and panoramic views into modern art in the world, and has grown to include over 135,000 paintings, prints, photographs, drawings, sculptures, films, and design objects. Visitors to New York City should make sure to stop in and view the collection during their vacations. Founded in 1929 as an educational institution, The Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to being the foremost museum of modern art in the world. Central to The Museum of Modern Art's mission is the encouragement of an ever-deeper understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art by the diverse local, national, and international audiences that it serves. The Museum of Modern Art seeks to create a dialogue between the established and the experimental, the past and the present, in an environment that is responsive to the issues of modern and contemporary art, while being accessible to a public that ranges from scholars to young children. MoMA also has three restaurants on the premises: Café 2, is the museum's sophisticated cafeteria; Terrace 5 is a full-service café where guests can indulge in creative savory selections, delectable pastries and ice cream sundaes, inventive specialty cocktails, micro-brewed beers, and carefully selected wines; and The Modern offers the original, Alsatian-inspired cuisine of Chef Gabriel Kreuther, recently awarded three stars by The New York Times.
Museum Hours: Tues.-Mon., 10:30am-5:30pm; Fri., 10:30am-8pm (free entry 4-8pm for UNIQLO Free Friday Nights).