Monday, November 11, 2013

Ellsworth Kelly Charter 1959

Charter, I realize, is one of my favorite paintings, which I discovered half a decade ago when living in Connecticut and teaching at an SOM-designed art building with bright orange chairs. I was reunited with the orange mass last weekend at the Yale Art Gallery. Contemplating the neighboring Lichtenstein (BLAM!) and Albers (squares), I found myself reminiscing of Fred Cooper, who came of age in Albers classroom and the tutelage of Marcel Proust. Incidentally, In Search of Lost Time is celebrating its centennial, and the Yale French Department has reconstructed Proust's claustrophobic room to host a reading marathon (see here). Two days before the Proust marathon, Vanity Fair published a list of the six greatest living artists, including Ellsworth Kelly (see here). Five years ago (almost exactly since I was last united with Charter), I was asked to defend the value of Ellsworth Kelly in a liberal arts curriculum. It's difficult to explain the elation this work solicits.

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States