Robert Kelly American, b. 1956

Overview

Influenced by a myriad of disparate and iconic artists such as Brancusi, Bourgeois, Diebenkorn, and Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Kelly creates art that is intelligent, alert, harmonious, and yet paradoxical. Incorporating unexpected materials from his travels, Kelly layers for example printed antique papers, documents, signs, and vintage posters onto panels that are then built up and covered with saturated pigments. Remnants of their beauty and the history and language they impart are thus preserved in new modern ways. Paint is applied with puzzle-like precision in shapes that capture strong lines, forms, and color. These are sophisticated works that carefully meld the past with the modern and the new in an elegance that is just beautiful. Kelly is especially mindful of how the shapes in his work interact with each other. 

 

 "Much like a stonemason building a wall, my recent work seems to be anchored in a step-by-step process of composing formal puzzles. I have grown fond of the pared-down tools of line, form and color and the bountiful yield of their juxtapositions, without the need of references or symbolic otherness to give them meaning. The tension of exquisite junctions and disjunctions achieved by a process of patient build-up of papered and painted layers and edge-to-edge arrangements, makes for a fine focus of meditative work. Though the work has formal and austere footings the efforts of edit and re-edit seems to create sensual surfaces that expose a history of tactile decisions. My affection for the likes of Hans Arp, Myron Stout, Tony Smith, Brancusi, Calder and Ellsworth Kelly, plus the Bauhaus Gang, coupled with over 20 years of crafting the surfaces I paint on, gives me a small niche in this intimate investigation of form that I can call my own."

—Robert Kelly

Museums and Public Collections

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY

Fogg Museum, Cambridge, MA

Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutger's University, NJ

Margulies Collection, Miami, FL

McNay Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX

Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI

Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, AL

Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM

New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM

Smith College Art Museum, Northampton, MA

University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque, NM

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Private Collections

Boston Properties / GM Project, New York, NY

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY

Dell Foundation, Austin, TX

Fogg Museum, Cambridge, MA

Ginny Williams Foundation

Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutger's University, NJ

Margulies Collection, Miami, FL

McNay Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX

Mead Data Central, Dayton, OH

Microsoft Corporation, Mountain View, CA

Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI

Mitsubishi, New York, NY

Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, AL

Morgan Guarantee Trust Company, New York, NY

Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM

New England Life, Boston, MA

New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM

Olin Foundation, NY

Pepsi Cola Company of Annapolis, MD

Phillip Morris Co., Boston, MA

Price Waterhouse, Boston, MA

Scientific Atlanta Headquarters, Atlanta, GA

Smith Barney, New York, NY

Smith College Art Museum, Northampton, MA

Solomon Brothers, New York, NY

Time Inc., New York, NY

University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque, NM

Wang, Boston, MA

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

William C. Mercer Collection, New York, NY

Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA

Request information

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