Ellsworth Kelly and Green Curve with Radius of Twenty Feet

Ellsworth Kelly, who died in his home in Spencertown last month, was a painter, sculptor and printmaker well known for hard-edge painting, Color Field painting and minimalism. His piece Green Curve with Radius of Twenty Feet is part of LUAG’s collection and is currently displayed in the exhibition Object as Subject. Below are a few interesting facts about Kelly and Green Curve with the Radius of Twenty Feet.

Ellsworth Kelly

  • Kelly was an avid bird watcher as a boy and some believe his use of bright colors was connected to his early bird interests.
  • During his military service in the 40s he was a Ghost soldier. Ghost soldiers used inflatable tanks, trucks and other deceptions to mislead Axis forces.
  • His first solo exhibition was in Paris in 1951.
  • While living and working in New York City his pieces were regarded as very European compared to the city’s popular art of that time.
  • At times he employed irregularly shaped canvases, which in turn made the canvas an important aspect of his piece’s composition.
  • Monet’s later works inspired Kelly to work with extremely large formats and explore monochrome painting and seriality.
  • When he moved to Spencertown, NY in 1970 his studio was a former theater, giving him much more space than his New York City studio to work in large formats.
  • In 1986 Kelly designed a building which was acquired by Blanton Museum of art to be built on the museum’s ground at the University of Texas, Austin.


Green Curve with Radius of Twenty Feet, 1974, Lithograph on Paper

Green Curve with Radius of Twenty Feet

  • Though at first glance the piece looks to be a perfect triangle, the hypotenuse of the triangle is curved.
  • The title of the piece alludes to the triangle being part of a larger conceptual circle that has a radius of 20 feet.
  • The piece is part of a portfolio comprising of 12 prints by various artists published by the Committee to Endow a Chair in Honor of Meyer Schapiro at Columbia University.

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