Oil on wood, 74.3 x 99.7 cm
The Art Institute of Chicago
Gift of the artist, 2009
© Ellsworth Kelly
Monet | Kelly
November 23, 2014–February 16, 2015
This exhibition focuses on the significant role Claude Monet’s motifs and the sites that inspired his paintings have played in the work of American painter Ellsworth Kelly.
Early in his career Kelly spent six formative years (1948–1954) in France, where he discovered the late work of the impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840–1926). Visits to the remote island of Belle-Île off the coast of Brittany in 1949 and a visit to Monet’s house and studio in Giverny in 1952 inspired a series of drawings and Kelly’s first monochrome work, Tableau Vert (1952, Art Institute of Chicago), which is included in this exhibition. Kelly returned to France on subsequent journeys in 1965, 2000, and 2005, visiting Belle-Île again as well as Provence. He continued to draw motifs depicted by Monet, as well as by Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse.
This exhibition brings together two paintings and eighteen unpublished drawings selected by Kelly, together with nine paintings by Monet from his Belle-Île series and from his garden in Giverny. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Yve-Alain Bois and Sarah Lees that explore the significance of this key moment in Kelly’s career as well as the influence on Kelly’s work of the later paintings of Monet.
Monet | Kelly is organized by the Clark Art Institute and will be on view exclusively at the Clark. The exhibition is made possible by the generous contribution of Denise Littlefield Sobel. Additional support is provided by Agnes Gund, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, and Emily Rauh Pulitzer.