Ellsworth Kelly, one of America’s greatest abstract artists, died Sunday of natural causes at his home in Spencertown, New York. He was 92.
Kelly served in the military during World War II, and many have concluded that the war informed the seriousness of Kelly’s work, but his bold abstractions are not dreary things. His paintings and sculptures work mostly within a palette that could be described as boisterous, and, while as objects they represent and embody Kelly’s intense understanding of theory and form, to the uninformed it is abstract art that is, most of the time, a lot of fun to look at. (And no, that’s not a jab at Kelly’s work.)
Matthew Marks of the Matthew Marks Gallery in New York announced his death, saying “I think he bridged European and American modernism. He was a real American original.”
Kelly is survived by his husband, Jack Shear, and a brother, David.