This installation was curated by the artist and offered a focused view of his artistic evolution over a fifty-year period. The selections ranged from reliefs during his early years in Paris in 1950 to recent works, and the exhibition built on an already strong connection between Kelly and Pulitzer Arts Foundation. Kelly’s Blue Black—a site-specific wall sculpture composed of two painted aluminum panels—was commissioned for the Pulitzer and installed on the south wall of the Main Gallery as one of only three permanent works in the institution’s collection. Kelly also played a critical role in the design phase of the Pulitzer building, during which he collaborated with Tadao Ando and Emily Rauh Pulitzer.
With Selected Works by Ellsworth Kelly from Saint Louis Collections, the lenders—including Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Mr. and Mrs. Barney Ebsworth, Bank of America, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald K. Greenberg, and the Donald L. Bryant Jr. Family Trust—testified to the strength of the bond that exists between the artist and the St. Louis community. Furthermore, the exhibition at Pulitzer Arts Foundation was complemented by Henri Matisse/Ellsworth Kelly: Plant Drawings, on view at the Saint Louis Art Museum and organized by the Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou in Paris.