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Spectrum II

Artist
Ellsworth Kelly, American, 1923–2015
Date
1966–67
Material
Oil on canvas
Classification
Paintings
Current Location
On View, Gallery 253
Dimensions
80 in. x 22 ft. 9 in. (203.2 x 693.4 cm)
Credit Line
Funds given by the Shoenberg Foundation, Inc.
Rights
© Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery
Object Number
4:1967a-m
NOTES
As the title indicates, this work engages the color spectrum. Ellsworth Kelly, however, questions the predictability of the standard red to violet progression, instead offering a passage that begins with one yellow and ends with another. The search for specific color is central in Kelly’s art. He once explained, “It’s very difficult to do a spectrum because each color has to be the right red, the right purple, and they have to blend together.” Here the artist has joined thirteen individually painted canvases producing a work almost twenty¬three feet long. Through this work Kelly has both reinvented the early European medieval tradition of the polyptych (joined multi-panel painting), and challenged the modern convention of the single canvas.
1967
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, NY, acquired from the artist

1967 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Sidney Janis Gallery [1]


Notes:
[1] Per invoice dated March 20, 1967 and bill of sale dated August 7, 1967 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, March 16, 1967.
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