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Blue Red, 1964

  • Ellsworth Kelly, American, 1923-2015

Oil on canvas

  • 73 × 58 1/2 × 1 1/2 inches (185.4 × 148.6 × 3.8 cm) Unframed: 72 × 58 inches (182.9 × 147.3 cm)

Founders Society Purchase with funds from W. Hawkins Ferry



Contemporary Art after 1950

Ellsworth Kelly was a precursor of minimalism, developing his own "hard-edge" style of painting that reduced geometric elements to their most basic state. The smooth, blue oblong shape lies flatly against the contrasting monochrome red surface, showing no signs of depth or illusionistic space. The only compositional element is the relationship between the colors, which replaces any representational meaning or content.

Signed and dated on verso: Kelly 1964

Paper label with printed blue ink and typewritten information: Collection of CARTER BURDEN No. 11.30 | Artist: Ellsworth KELLY ( American, born 1923) | Title: Red/Blue [underlined] | Date: 1964 | Medium: Acrylic on canvas | Dimensions: 72 1/2 x 58 inches | (7-68) Yellow paper label with blue printing: FA [in circle] OLLENDORFF FINE ARTS | FINE ART PACKERS AND SHIPPERS | NEW YORK - SAN FRANCISCO | lot no. 4453 piece no. 1 White paper label with blue printing, lot and piece number handwritten in blue ink: HAHN BROS. | New York City | Lot No. 26393 Piece No. 69

Inscribed in marker on horizontal stretcher bar, left: #333 72 1/2 x 58" Signed and dated in marker on horizontal stretcher bar, right: Kelly 1964 Inscribed in marker on vertical stretcher bar, upper center: [an arrow pointing to top of painting]

the artist

collection of Carter Burden

(Blum Helman Gallery, New York, New York, USA)

1975-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Bulletin of the DIA 54, no. 2 (1975): 94 (ill.).

Ellsworth Kelly, Blue Red, 1964, oil on canvas. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase with funds from W. Hawkins Ferry, 75.32.