Monday, February 12, 2018
Obsessed with public space, celebrated artist Ellsworth Kelly wrote that he wanted to see all the art he had done “much larger” and that his paintings should “stand up outside as billboards or a kind of modern icon.” Billboards and icons are, of course, at opposite ends of the spectrum: Billboards are gigantic and belong to the order of the spectacular; icons are intimate and meditative. Yet in his art, particularly his totems, Kelly manages to fuse these two antithetical genres. Yve-Alain Bois, professor of art history at the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, will demonstrate how Kelly succeeded at that, and that the secret has to do with scale, not size.
Yve-Alain Bois, professor of art history at the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, is a specialist in twentieth-century European and American art. Bois is recognized as an expert on a wide range of artists, from Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso to Piet Mondrian, Barnett Newman, and Ellsworth Kelly. Bois is currently working on several long-term projects, foremost among them the catalogue raisonné of Ellsworth Kelly’s paintings and sculptures, the second volume out of a planned five volumes.
Professor Bois' Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.