Ellsworth Kelly - Photo of the artist in Ellsworth, 1964- Image via nyt - Yellow Edge, 1964 - ellsworth blue red orange ellsworth blue red yellow 1964 edge ellsworth

Ellsworth Kelly /   Ellsworth Kelly

United States 1923 - 2015

Sculpture, Painting, Prints

Ellsworth Kelly
Ellsworth Kelly
United States
November 18, 2016
Andreja Velimirović is a passionate content writer with a knack for art and old movies. Majoring in art history, he is an expert on avant-garde modern movements and medieval church fresco decorations. Feel free to contact him via his Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreja-velimirovi%C4%87-74068a68/

Without the slightest trace of doubt in mind, Ellsworth Kelly was one of the greatest 20th-century abstract artists emerging from the United States. His pure forms and colors blended with the tendency to suppress gesture in favor of creating spatial unity within the composition paved the way for Kelly to have massive influences on both the Color Field painting and Minimalist movement. Ellsworth’s work mostly consisted of bright, monochromatic shaped canvases and sculptures the artist derived from the occurrences of everyday life surrounding him. Ultimately, his efforts towards validating Abstraction as a genuine creative expression is Kelly’s greatest contribution to modern and contemporary art history[1].

Ellsworth Kelly White Curve
Ellsworth Kelly, White Curve, 1974 – Image via pinterest.com

Isolated Youth and Early Education

Ellsworth Kelly was the second son of Allan Howe Kelly and Florence Bithens Kelly, a couple who lived in Newburgh, a town located approximately 60 miles north of New York City. Allan Howe Kelly worked as an insurance company executive, whilst Ellsworth’s mother Florence was a school teacher. His gene pool was rather mixed as Kelly had Scots-Irish, German, Welsh and Pennsylvania blood running through his veins. The young artist’s family lived near the Oradell Reservoir where his paternal grandmother presented him to the science of ornithology for the first time when Ellsworth was about eight or nine years of age. It was in Oradell Reservoir that Kelly developed his deeply rooted passion for color and form. There are many experts, such as Eugene Goossen, that agree that this artist’s career was so devoted to color simply because his childhood’s fascination with observing birds never completely left his mind. In that sense, all Ellsworth was doing for the entirety of his career was chasing the same delight he experienced while he was still a toddler at the Oradell Reservoir. His early devotions to birds and nature may have been further forced upon him by the slight stutter that persisted into his teenage years, making Kelly feel very isolated when surrounded by unknown people. He attended the local public school and was lucky enough to end up with the right professors who aimed at developing his creative imagination. As a matter of fact, it was a school teacher that encouraged him to pursue an art training despite Kelly’s parents being against such a radical and life-altering decision. Kelly studied at the prestigious Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, an institution of which he was a part of from the year of 1941 until the moment he was inducted into the Army on New Year’s Day of 1943.

Ellsworth Kelly intended that his work should be experienced through instinctive responses to its structure and color rather than with contextual or interpretive analysis

Showering in blue, red, white, green and orange is the American blue way of Ellsworth painting
Ellsworth Kelly – Spectrum II, 1967 at St. Louis Museum of Art – Image via pinterest.com

Ellsworth Kelly – the Soldier and the Artist

Hearing that the 603rd Engineers Camouflage Battalion was taking many young artists at this stressful time, Kelly desired to be assigned to that company upon entering the United States military service in 1943. However, after a six weeks training, the young artist served in a deception unit known as The Ghost Army. This company’s goals were simple – to mislead the Axis forces about the direction and disposition of Allied forces by using inflatable tanks, trucks and other elements of subterfuge. Due to a lot of exposure to military camouflage, Kelly’s future visual vocabulary would be reinforced by this experience. Kelly served with The Ghost Army unit from 1943 until the end of the European phase of the war.

After returning home, Ellsworth decided to accept the G.I. Bill program and study at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where he took advantage of the museum’s collections. Showing great potential, he was soon offered an opportunity to attend classes at the legendary École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. While the ex-soldier and a WWII veteran was at this institution in France, he would study day and night, exploring all the advantages this school had to offer and eventually establish his aesthetic vocabulary. Immersing himself in the rich artistic resources of the French capital[2], Kelly found an artistic guiding star within the work and character of Paul Cézanne. He also met fellow Americans John Cage and Merce Cunningham in Paris as the two were in the experimental phases of their career. Some sources state that Ellsworth also befriended Jean Arp to some extent. After being abroad for six years, Kelly decided to return to America in 1954. Like many of his contemporaries who returned to New York after a long time of art studying in Europe, Kelly found the Big Apple scene way too rough and uninteresting.

As did the early twentieth century Dadaists, Ellsworth Kelly emphasized the spontaneous, the casual and the ephemeral much more than any traditional aspect of art making

The Black Wall exhibition is the best proof of how colors form the American creative wall
Ellsworth Kelly – Sculpture For a Large Wall, 1956-1957 at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, 2004 – Image via reuters.com

Releasing the Abstraction

It took Kelly a long time to adjust and break through the ranks of the NYC scene. His first solo exhibition was held at Betty Parsons’ Gallery during the May of 1956. As expected, his art was considered more European than was popular in New York at the time. His pieces were considered radically different from the other works available at the time – a characteristic that became Ellsworth’s trademark at one point. However, he was not able to become as popular as he wanted and after over fifteen years of working in the Big Apple, Kelly left and settled in Spencertown in 1970. Here, he was finally able to release his Abstraction without any boundary that weighted his creativity in New York. In 1973, Kelly began regularly making large-scale outdoor sculpture artworks which remain as some of the greatest abstractly sculptured pieces ever made[3]. Both his paintings and sculptures thrived in these new circumstances. Ellsworth first added curved shapes to his repertoire, something he was terribly lacking in the past decades. Ultimately, this led to a pivotal break with the rectangular support and his redefinition of painting’s figure-ground relationship. He was also finally able to use the space surrounding the pieces to his advantage, achieving excellent results that he always wanted and heavily influencing the global development of installation along the way.

In later paintings and sculptures, namely those from the 1980s and 1990s, Kelly distilled his palette and introduced new forms that altered his creative vocabulary a bit[4]. The artist explained his own work in 1996 by stating the following: I think what we all want from art is a sense of fixity, a sense of opposing the chaos of daily living. This an illusion, of course. Canvas rots. Paint changes color. But you keep trying to freeze the world as if you could make it last forever. In a sense, what I’ve tried to capture is the reality of flux, to keep art an open, incomplete situation, to get at the rapture of seeing. To this day, this remains as one of the greatest explanations of abstract art ever put into words. From 2001, Kelly worked in a 20,000-square-feet studio reconfigured and extended by the architect Richard Gluckman in Spencertown. This room will ultimately be the last working studio of Ellsworth as he spent the last years of his life creating art within these walls[5]. Kelly passed away on December 27 in the year of 2015. He was 92 at the time.

Interestingly, blue, red, green, orange and black are the most popular colors that form american paintings
Ellsworth Kelly – Untitled, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. – Image via wikimedia.org

What Ellsworth Kelly Left Behind

When one observes Ellsworth Kelly’s career as a whole, it’s not a challenge to conclude just how pivotal his work was for establishing Abstraction as a valid field of art making. His explorations of light, space and color were crucial for all of the modern and contemporary art, having massive influences on Pop Art, Color Field painting and Minimalism. His sculptures, paintings and drawings are some of the best abstract pieces ever made and it would be foolish to even consider discussing the United States’ scene of Abstraction without analyzing the life and work of Ellsworth Kelly.

This artist is represented by Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art Miami.


  1. Fer, B., Kelly, E., Ellsworth Kelly: Outside In, Matthew Marks Gallery, 2015
  2. Shiff, R., Ellsworth Kelly: New York Drawings 1954-1962, Prestel, 2014
  3. Temkin, A., Ellsworth Kelly: The Chatham Series, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2013
  4. Wilmes, U., Kelly, E., Ellsworth Kelly: Black & White, Hatje Cantz, 2012
  5. Kelly, E., Richardson, B., Ellsworth Kelly: Wood Sculpture, MFA Publications, 2011

Featured image: Ellsworth Kelly – Photo of the artist – Image via nyt.com
All images used for illustrative purposes only.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Outside InMatthew Marks Galler, New York City, NYSolo
2015The New York School, 1969: Henry Geldzahler at the Metropolitan Museum of ArtPaul Kasmin Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2015Standing in the Shadows of Love: The Aldrich Collection 1964–1974, Part 2The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CTGroup
2014Ellsworth Kelly: Selected WorksGemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYSolo
2014Plant Lithographs by Ellsworth Kelly, 1964-66Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, MASolo
2014Ellsworth Kelly - Twelve colour prints from the artist’s own collectionIngleby Gallery,Edinburgh, ScotlandSolo
2014Artists for ArtistsMatthew Marks Gallery - 522 West 22th Street, New York City, NYGroup
2014Monet KellyThe Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MAGroup
2014New Projects 2014Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYGroup
2014A Drawing Show (group show)Matthew Marks Gallery - 526 West 22nd Street, New York City, NYGroup
2014Art=Text=Art - Private Languages, Public SystemsUB Art Galleries - University of Buffalo,Buffalo, NYGroup
2014After the Front Line: Artists Who Served in the World WarsKrannert Art Museum, Champaign, ILGroup
2014Face à l'oeuvreFondation Maeght, Saint-PaulGroup
2014Modern and Contemporary Prints and EditionsMcClain Gallery, Houston, TXGroup
2014Formes simplesCentre Pompidou-Metz, MetzGroup
2014Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: The Robert & Jane Meyerhoff CollectionThe de Young Museum, San Francisco, CAGroup
2014Art On ColorGemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYGroup
2014Great PrintsReynolds Gallery, Richmond, VAGroup
2014Rare PostersGallery 360 Degree, TokyoGroup
2014Minimal ArtGallery A-zone, OkayamaGroup
2014Donald Judd Ellsworth Kelly Sakumoto Tomok - Minimal ArtGallery A-zone, OkayamaGroup
2014Double Negative: From Painting To ObjectMuseo Tamayo, Mexico CityGroup
2014Contemporary MastersZane Bennett Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NMGroup
2014Nichts Ist KunstGalerie Eugen Lendl, GrazGroup
2014SculptureMatthew Marks Gallery - 523 West 24th Street, New York City, NYGroup
2014Experience 09: SilenceESMoA, El Segundo, CAGroup
2014Temi & Variazioni. L'impero Della LucePeggy Guggenheim Collection, VeniceGroup
2014New & Recent EditionsGemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYGroup
2013Ellsworth Kelly - Panel Paintings 2004–2009The Phillips Collection, Washington, DCSolo
2013Ellsworth Kelly: PrintsThe Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MISolo
2013Ellsworth Kelly: The Chatham SeriesMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYSolo
2013Ellsworth Kelly - At NinetyMatthew Marks Gallery - 523 West 24th Street, New York City, NYSolo
2013Ellsworth Kelly - At NinetyMatthew Marks Gallery - 522 West 22th Street, New York City, NYSolo
2013EK@90. Celebrating Ellsworth Kelly's 90th BirthdayGemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYSolo
2013Ellsworth Kelly - Singular Forms 1966 - 2009Mnuchin Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2013Once upon a time and a very good time it was…Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland Group
2013Shifting PlanesVan Doren Waxter, New York City, NYGroup
2013White - Photography, Art, Design, Fashion, FilmNetherlands Fotomuseum, RotterdamGroup
2013Private SelectionsNina Freudenheim Gallery, Buffalo, NYGroup
2013Farbenfroh - Graphik Aus Der Sammlung KempMuseum Kunstpalast, DusseldorfGroup
2013Pictures of NothingThe Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NYGroup
2013Adventures of truth - Painting and philosophyFondation Maeght, Saint-PaulGroup
2013Across Dimensions: Graphics And Sculpture From The Permanent CollectionPalm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CAGroup
2013Playing with Process: Explorations in Experimental PrintmakingMFAH - Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TXGroup
2013Sobre Papel On PaperCentro de Artes Visuales Helga de Alvear, CáceresGroup
2013Die Sammlung Hubert LooserKunsthaus Zürich, ZurichGroup
2013CelestialMcClain Gallery, Houston, TXGroup
2013Art=Text=Art - Private Languages Public SystemsHafnarborg, HafnarfjörðurGroup
2013EnsembleKröller-Müller Museum, OtterloGroup
2013AbluminalThe Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, MAGroup
2013The Artist and the PoetThe Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, ILGroup
2013Black SpaceZane Bennett Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NMGroup
2013Abstractions On PaperCrystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, ARGroup
2013PrintWoodward Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2012Ellsworth Kelly Colored Paper ImagesThe National Gallery of Art, Washington, DCSolo
2012Ellsworth Kelly - Spectral ColorsGemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYSolo
2012Ellsworth Kelly Selected PrintsElizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, ORSolo
2012Ellsworth Kelly - Plant DrawingsThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NYSolo
2012Ellsworth Kelly - Schwarz und WeißMuseum Wiesbaden, WiesbadenSolo
2012Louisiana On Paper: Ellsworth KellyLouisiana Museum of Modern Art, HumlebækSolo
2012Ellsworth Kelly: Prints and PaintingsLos Angeles County Museum of Art - LACMA, Los Angeles, CASolo
2012Exposition de groupeMarlborough Monaco, MonacoGroup
2012Obra Sobre PapelGaleria Javier López, MadridGroup
2012Avant-Gardes - The collection of the Triton Foundation Kunsthal Rotterdam, RotterdamGroup
2012A WINDOW ON THE WORLD, from Dürer to Mondrian and beyondMuseo Cantonale d´Arte Lugano, LuganoGroup
2012Una finestra sul mondo - Da Dürer a Mondrian e oltreMuseo d'Arte di Lugano, LuganoGroup
2012FlashbackARTAe Galerie & Kunstvermittlung, LeipzigGroup
2012Art=Text=Art: Private Languages Public SystemsJane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, NJGroup
2012The New York Collection for StockholmGeorgia Museum of Art, Athens, GAGroup
2012When Does Something Become Something Else?Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2012Politics as Symbol Symbol as PoliticSpencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, KSGroup
2012What's the Point?Gallery Jen Bekman, New York City, NYGroup
2012EditionsSenior & Shopmaker Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2012After MayCheryl Hazan Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2012Polly ApfelbaumHiram Butler Gallery, Houston, TXGroup
2012Index : A Group Exhibition of Significant PrintsPage Bond Gallery, Richmond, VAGroup
2012Thanks: 50th Anniversary ExhibitionCarl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, OHGroup
2012Aufbruch. Malerei und realer RaumAdK - Akademie der Künste, BerlinGroup
2012PrintsHiram Butler Gallery, Houston, TXGroup
2012Fresh Widow - Fenster-Bilder seit Matisse und DuchampK20 Grabbeplatz, DusseldorfGroup
2012Martin Visser: collector, designer, free spiritBonnefantenmuseum, MaastrichtGroup
2012Great PrintsReynolds Gallery, Richmond, VAGroup
2012After Abstract ExpressionismKrannert Art Museum, Champaign, ILGroup
2012Happier Than The Morning SunGalerie Clemens Thimme, KarlsruheGroup
2012You Call This ArtFlorida Gulf Coast University Art Gallery, Fort Myers, FLGroup
2011Ellsworth kelly - Schwarz & weißHaus der Kunst München, MunichSolo
2011Ellsworth Kelly - Plant DrawingsPinakothek der Moderne, MunichSolo
2011Ellsworth Kelly: Wood SculptureMFA - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, MASolo
2011Ellsworth Kelly - Gemini G.E.L.Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYSolo
2011Ellsworth Kelly - Reliefs 2009 - 2010Matthew Marks Gallery - 523 West 24th Street, New York City, NYSolo
2011Geometrisch-abstraktC.Art-Galerie - Prantl & Boch, DornbirnGroup
2011Lets Party For A Piece Of ArtPinakothek der Moderne, MunichGroup
2011Art At The Origin: The Early 1960SThe Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MAGroup
2011Contemporary Drawings from the Irving Stenn Jr. CollectionThe Art Institute of Chicago,Chicago, ILGroup
2011Contemporary MastersAlan Cristea Gallery, LondonGroup
2011Pacific Standard Editions: An East Coast Look At The West Coast Celebration Of Pacific Standard TimeGemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYGroup
2011Hot Cold CoolAMUM - Art Museum of the University of Memphis, Memphis, TNGroup
2011 September 11MoMA PS1, New York City, NYGroup
2011AufbruchSituation Kunst, BochumGroup
2011Prints - Contemporary Masters IZane Bennett Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NMGroup
2011Art=Text=Art: Works by Contemporary ArtistsJoel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art - University of Richmond, Richmond, VAGroup
2011Abstract Delight: Selections from the Polly and Mark Addison CollectionCU Art Museum,Boulder, COGroup
2011Blast from the Past: 60s and 70s Geometric AbstractionsPalm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CAGroup
2011La couleur en avantMAMAC - Musee d´Art Moderne et d`Art Contemporain Nice, NiceGroup
2011Painterly Abstraction, 1949-1969: Selections from the Guggenheim CollectionsMuseo Guggenheim de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo, BilbaoGroup
2011Spatial Constructs: The Gift of Amy and David Niles in ContextStanlee & Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, El Paso, TXGroup
2011Master Works On PaperAnnandale Galleries, Annandale, NSWGroup
2011Artists observed by Sidney B. Felsen à l'atelier Gemini G.E.L.Galerie Lelong, ParisGroup
2011Abstract Now and ThenBerkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive BAM, PFA, Berkeley, CAGroup
2011Arp, Beckmann, Munch, Kirchner, Warhol … Klassiker in BonnBundeskunsthalle, BonnGroup
2011Drawn Taped Burned: Abstraction on PaperKatonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NYGroup
2011Graphics Group ExhibitionMarlborough Chelsea, New York City, NYGroup
2011New AcquisitionsLeslie Sacks Fine Art, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2010Plants, Flowers and FruitsNorton Simon Museum of Art, Pasadena, CASolo
2010Ellsworth Kelly: Drawings 1954-62Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, DublinSolo
2010Men On MadisonGemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYGroup
2010On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth CenturyMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYGroup
2010Compass in handIVAM - Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, ValenciaGroup
2010On the Mark: Contemporary Works on PaperThe Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MDGroup
2010Constructive Spirit: Abstract Art in South and North America, 1920s–50sAmon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TXGroup
2010Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres Ellsworth Kelly Académie de France à Rome - Villa Médicis,RomeGroup
2010Moving PatternsThe Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, MAGroup
2010B&WLa Caja Negra, MadridGroup
2010HIGH IDEALS & CRAZY DREAMSGalerie Vera Munro,HamburgGroup
2010Water WorkPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2010Im DialogKunststiftung Erich Hauser, RottweilGroup
2010Double Rotation - Werke aus der Sammlung LafrenzWeserburg | Museum für moderne Kunst, BremenGroup
2010Minimalism: Logic Structure in the Graphic ArtsWorcester Art Museum, Worcester, MAGroup
2010Abstract ResistanceWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2010Classic Contemporary: Lichtenstein, Warhol And FriendsMuseum of Contemporary Art San Diego - MCASD La Jolla, La Jolla, CAGroup
2010Constructive Spirit: Abstract Art in South and North AmericaThe Newark Museum, Newark, NJGroup
201020TH CENTURY CONTEMPORARY MASTERSZane Bennett Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NMGroup
2010The Shape of AbstractionBoston University Art Gallery - BUAG, Boston, MAGroup
2010Markowitz, Love Text, & Cold PressPage Bond Gallery, Richmond, VAGroup
2010Kelly Knoebel Roeth Bambury Innes JuddJensen Gallery, AucklandGroup
2010Grands FormatsGalerie Lelong, ZurichGroup
2010Focus on ArtistsSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CAGroup
2009Ellsworth Kelly: Drawings 1954-1962Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art - MIMA,MiddlesbroughSolo
2009Shape The Black and White Prints of Ellsworth KellySusan Sheehan Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2009DiagonalMatthew Marks Gallery - 522 West 22th Street, New York City, NYSolo
2009Ellsworth Kelly - DiagonalMatthew Marks Gallery - 523 West 24th Street, New York City, NYSolo
2009All Wrapped Up For The HolidaysGemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYGroup
2009Cold PressPage Bond Gallery, Richmond, VAGroup
2009Just what is it…ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, KarlsruheGroup
2009Divided by a Common Language? British and American Works from The Murray CollectionThe Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, NYGroup
2009Twentysix Gasoline Stations ed altri libri d'ArtistaMuseo Regionale di Messina, MessinaGroup
2009Back To Black And LightClint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto, ONGroup
2009MOCA´s First Thirty YearsMOCA Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2009The Rose at Brandeis: Works from the CollectionThe Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MAGroup
2009Stripes SolidsPaula Cooper Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2009The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: Selected WorksThe National Gallery of Art,Washington, DCGroup
2009Chance AestheticsKemper Art Museum, Saint Louis, MOGroup
2009Assembled Realities and Small TreasuresIKON Ltd, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2009The Passionate Pursuit: Gifts and Promised Works from Donna and Cargill MacMillan, Jr.Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CAGroup
2009Works on PaperFaggionato Fine Arts, LondonGroup
2009Ediciones AmericanasLa Caja Negra, MadridGroup
2009IN 2 & 3DGemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYGroup
2009Colour Chart: Reinventing Colour, 1950 to TodayTate Liverpool, LiverpoolGroup
2009Great Impressions IIDean Jensen Gallery, Milwaukee, WIGroup
2009DLA Piper Series: This is SculptureTate Liverpool, LiverpoolGroup
2009Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings CollectionMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYGroup
2009Shaping Reality: Geometric Abstraction after 1960The Minneapolis Institute of Arts,Minneapolis, MNGroup
2009Die Gegenwart der LiniePinakothek der Moderne, MunichGroup
2009Cézanne and BeyondPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2009Drei. Das Tryptichon in der ModerneKunstmuseum Stuttgart, StuttgartGroup
2009Artists in Their StudiosNorman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MAGroup
2009Nueva York - El Papel de las Ultimas VanguardiasMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo Esteban Vicente, SegoviaGroup
2009Vivre l'artEspace de l’art concret, Mouans SartouxGroup
2009Usa Print ShowJealous Gallery, LondonGroup
2009Geometry as ImageRussell Bowman Art Advisory, Chicago, ILGroup
2008ELLSWORTH KELLY: Plant lithographs from the artist´s collectionGallery I - Ingleby Gallery,Edinburgh, Scotland Solo
2008A Searching Line - The Plant Lithographs of Ellsworth KellySusan Sheehan Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2008Text Messages: Books by ArtistsWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2008Correspondences 24. Paul Cézanne Ellsworth KellyMusée d´Orsay, ParisGroup
2008LINES, GRIDS, STAINS, WORDSMuseum Wiesbaden, WiesbadenGroup
2008IMPLANTThe Horticultural Society of New York Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2008Painting Now and Forever Part IIGreene Naftali, New York City, NYGroup
2008Works on Paper - Mitchell-Innes & NashMadison Av., New York City, NYGroup
2008Rhythmus 21 - Positionen des AbstraktenStädtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus & Kunstbau,MunichGroup
2008Attention to DetailFLAG Art Foundation, New York City, NYGroup
2008Drawn TogetherFLAG Art Foundation, New York City, NYGroup
2008Face to Face - The Daros Collections. Part2Daros Exhibitions, ZurichGroup
2008Great PrintsReynolds Gallery, Richmond, VAGroup
2008Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to TodayMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYGroup
2008The American Evolution - A History through Art The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DCGroup
2008How Artists Draw: Toward the Menil Drawing Institute and Study CenterThe Menil Collection, Houston, TXGroup
2008Degas to Diebenkorn: The Phillips CollectsThe Phillips Collection, Washington, DCGroup
2008For the Spirit - From the UBS Art CollectionMori Art Museum, TokyoGroup
2008Arp to Reinhardt: Rose GeometriesThe Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MAGroup
2007Front Room: Ellsworth KellyThe Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MDSolo
2007Ellsworth Kelly: The RiversGemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYSolo
2007Ellsworth Kelly: Paris, New York, 1949–1959Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PASolo
2007Focus: Ellsworth KellyMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYSolo
2007Ellsworth Kelly - Monumental PrintsSusan Sheehan Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2007The Complexity of the SimpleMnuchin Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2007Die aufregende Kunst des 20Neue Nationalgalerie, BerlinGroup
2007Five Works in BronzeMatthew Marks Gallery - 523 West 24th Street, New York City, NYGroup
2007No Answer is also an answer - Recent Acquisitions 2005 – 2007Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, DublinGroup
2007Art in the USA: 300 años de innovaciónMuseo Guggenheim de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo, BilbaoGroup
2007Bold Expressions in Modern Art: The Buddy Greenberg CollectionWichita Art Museum WAM,Wichita, KSGroup
2007The Eclectic Eye - Pop and IllusionColorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, COGroup
2007Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue? Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Baden-BadenGroup
2007EverythingTalley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, TXGroup
2007B. Millner PrintsPage Bond Gallery, Richmond, VAGroup
2007Guggenheim Collection: 1940s to NowNGV National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, VICGroup
2007Grand Gestures: The Gordon F. Hampton CollectionUAM - University Art Museum, Long Beach, CAGroup
200752nd International Art Exhibition Venice BiennaleBiennale di Venezia - La Biennale di Venezia, VeniceGroup
2007Modern American MastersMuseum of Contemporary Art San Diego - MCASD Downtown, San Diego, CAGroup
2007Paper: Featuring traditional and innovative uses of the mediumFisher Landau Center For Art,New York City, NYGroup
2007Breaking the Mold: Selections from the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, 1961-1968Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, OKGroup
2007Twin BillOklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, OKGroup
2007What Is a Line? Drawings from the CollectionYale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CTGroup
2007Die Kunst zu SammelnMuseum Kunstpalast, DusseldorfGroup
2007Paper thinINOVA - Institute of Visual Arts, Milwaukee, WIGroup
2007Return to CézanneCollection Lambert, AvignonGroup
2007La Curva del MundoGaleria Rafael Ortiz, SevillaGroup
2007New AbstractionRobischon Gallery, Denver, COGroup
2007A Grand Opening - Gemini G.E.L.Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYGroup
2007Fast Forward: Contemporary Collections for the Dallas Museum of ArtDallas Museum of Art,Dallas, TXGroup
2007Living ColorVasarely Museum, BudapestGroup
2006Ellsworth Kelly - Colors, Rivers and PlantsLa Caja Negra, MadridSolo
2006Ellsworth Kelly: Drawings on a Bus—Sketchbook 23, 1954Matthew Marks Gallery - 521 West 22th Street, New York City, NYSolo
2006Ellsworth Kelly - Collages in Black and White 1973 to 1991James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, NMSolo
2006Drawn from Nature: The Plant Lithographs of Ellsworth KellyAXA Gallery (fromer Equitable Gallery), New York City, NYSolo
2006Ellsworth Kelly - Editions 1972-2005Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland Solo
2006Ellsworth Kelly - Paris New York, 1949–1959Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PASolo
2006Ellsworth Kelly in St IvesTate St. Ives, St. Ives, CornwallSolo
2006Picasso to Pop: Aspects of Modern ArtThe Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CTGroup
2006A Show of PrintsJames Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, NMGroup
2006Nothing and everythingFraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2006Modulated AbstractionBrooke Alexander Editions, New York City, NYGroup
2006Selected WorksJohn Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2006Twice DrawnThe Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College,Saratoga Springs, NYGroup
2006Minimalism: On and Off PaperVivian Horan Fine Art, New York City, NYGroup
2006Small SculpturesMatthew Marks Gallery - 523 West 24th Street, New York City, NYGroup
2006Soulages, Kelly, RymanGalerie Lelong, ParisGroup
2006RedefinedThe Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DCGroup
2006Works on PaperThomas McCormick Gallery, Chicago, ILGroup
2006Pop Art 1960’s→2000’s - From Lichtenstein, Warhol To The Current GenerationSompo Japan Museum of Art, TokyoGroup
2006Dark MatterWhite Cube, LondonGroup
2006Berlin-Tokyo Tokyo-Berlin. Die Kunst zweier StädteNeue Nationalgalerie, BerlinGroup
2006Select ViewsThe Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MDGroup
2006Selections From The Werner H. Kramarsky CollectionBirmingham Museum of Art,Birmingham, ALGroup
2006L´amateur d´estampesMUba Eugène Leroy, TourcoingGroup
2006At Home - Recent AcquisitionsMMoCA - The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, WIGroup
2006Homenaje a ChillidaMuseo Guggenheim de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo, BilbaoGroup
2006Line and Surface - Works on PaperPeter Blum Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2006Recent DrawingsMatthew Marks Gallery - 523 West 24th Street, New York City, NYGroup
2006Presses, Pop, and Pomade: American Prints Since the SixtiesThe Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NYGroup
2005Forms and Color: Abstract Prints of Ellsworth KellySusan Sheehan Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2005Ellsworth Kelly - Tablet The Menil Collection, Houston, TXSolo
2005Ellsworth Kelly: Small Paintings, 1955 - 63Peter Freeman, Inc., New York City, NYSolo
2005Great Print Event IIIRussell Bowman Art Advisory, Chicago, ILGroup
2005Spectrum Galerie Lelong, New York City, NY Group
2005Zoo Story: An exhibition of animals in art - for the young and the young at heartFisher Landau Center For Art, New York City, NYGroup
2005For Meyer Schapiro - A portfolio of 12Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, WIGroup
2005That 70's Show - Gemini G.E.L.Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYGroup
2005PERFECT PAINTINGLangen Foundation, NeussGroup
2005BIG BANGMusée National d´Art Moderne, ParisGroup
2005Breaking GroundThe Horticultural Society of New York Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2005Ripe for Picking - Fruit & FlowersJim Kempner Fine Art, New York City, NYGroup
2005Minimalism and BeyondThe Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, Saint Louis, MOGroup
2005Recent Acquisitions - From the Grunwald CenterHammer Museum, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005ElementalWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2005Quartet - Johns, Kelly, Mitchell, MotherwellWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2005Group Show - Gemini G.E.L.Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYGroup
200540 grafica opera primaMilan Dobes Museum, BratislavaGroup
2005Amish Quilts: Kaleidoscope of ColorFrom the Collection of Faith and Stephen B - Denver Art Museum, Denver, COGroup
2005Memoire de la liberteGalerie tazl., WeizGroup
2005Leporello, Een reis door de collectieStedelijk Museum Amsterdam, AmsterdamGroup
2005WahlverwandtschaftenStädel Museum, FrankfurtGroup
2005Major PrintsJohn Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2005Counting the Ways: Word As ImageFisher Landau Center For Art, New York City, NYGroup
2005Recent Editions from Gemini G.E.L.Greenfield Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2005Sets, Series, and Suites: Contemporary PrintsMFA - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, MAGroup
2005EXIT- Ausstieg aus dem BildZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe,KarlsruheGroup
2004Ellsworth Kelly: New EditionsGemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYSolo
2004Ellsworth Kelly in DallasDallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TXSolo
2004Great Print Event IIRussell Bowman Art Advisory, Chicago, ILGroup
2004Human Presence: Works from the Museum´s Collection San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CAGroup
2004Suites - From the Permanent CollectionUniversity Museum of Contemporary Art - UMass Amherst, Amherst, MAGroup
2004Artists coming togetherJames Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, NMGroup
2004RetroFries Museum, LeeuwardenGroup
2004MonocromosMuseo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, MadridGroup
2004Beyond Geometry - Experiments in Form 1940s−70sLos Angeles County Museum of Art - LACMA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2004Modern Means: Continuity and Change in Art from 1880 to the PresentMori Art Museum,TokyoGroup
2004Toward AbstractionIKON Ltd, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2004Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated) - Art from 1951 to the PresentSolomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NYGroup
2003Ellsworth Kelly - Red Green BlueWhitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NYSolo
2003Ellsworth Kelly - Recent Painting and SculptureMatthew Marks Gallery - 523 West 24th Street,New York City, NYSolo
2003Ellsworth Kelly: Self-Portrait Drawings 1944-1992Matthew Marks Gallery - 521 West 21th Street, New York City, NYSolo
2003Ellsworth Kelly - Red Green BlueMFAH - Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TXSolo
2003ELLSWORTH KELLY: RED GREEN BLUEMuseum of Contemporary Art San Diego - MCASD La Jolla, La Jolla, CASolo
2003Fresh: Works on Paper, a Fifth Anniversary ExhibitionJames Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, NMGroup
2003Great Print EventRussell Bowman Art Advisory, Chicago, ILGroup
2003Fine Lines: Drawings from the Collection of Wynn KramarskyMuseum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB), Santa Barbara, CAGroup
2003The Spirit of WhiteGalerie Beyeler, BaselGroup
2003Drawing Modern - Works from the Agnes Gund CollectionThe Cleveland Museum of Art,Cleveland, OHGroup
2003EinbildungKunsthaus Graz, GrazGroup
2003SculptureMatthew Marks Gallery - 522 West 22th Street, New York City, NYGroup
2003Pencil: Drawings from the CollectionMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYGroup
2003Game overAndreas Grimm - München, MunichGroup
2003Roads Taken: 20th Century Prints and Drawings from the CollectionThe Fralin Museum of Art - University of Virginia Art Museums, Charlottesville, VAGroup
2003Vincent van Gogh and the contemporary artVan Gogh Museum, AmsterdamGroup
2003Hand-made MinimalPeter Freeman, Inc., New York City, NYGroup
2003Elemental - Selections from the permanent collectionWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2003Not Exactly PhotographsFraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2002Ellsworth Kelly - Obra GráficaLa Caja Negra, MadridSolo
2002Ellsworth Kelly - Works 1956-2002Fondation Beyeler, RiehenSolo
2002Ellsworth Kelly in San FranciscoSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CASolo
2002Ellsworth Kelly - Works on Paper 1959-2002John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
2002Ellsworth Kelly - Tablet 1948 - 1973Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, LausanneSolo
2002Selected Works by Ellsworth Kelly from Saint Louis CollectionsThe Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, Saint Louis, MOSolo
2002Ellsworth Kelly: New LithographsTalley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, TXSolo
2002Ellsworth Kelly, Tablet: 1949–1973The Drawing Center, New York City, NYSolo
2002Ellsworth Kelly: Ten New LithographsGemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYSolo
2002Ellsworth Kelly - New EditionsSusan Sheehan Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2002Works on PaperThe Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Portland, ORGroup
2002Merce Cunningham Foundation Benefit 50th Anniversary Art SalePaula Cooper Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2002An American Legacy, A Gift to New YorkWhitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NYGroup
2002All American, Part IIVan Doren Waxter, New York City, NYGroup
2002True BlueJackson Fine Art, Atlanta, GAGroup
2002Pas de deuxFries Museum, LeeuwardenGroup
2002New Editions - Gemini G.E.L.Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYGroup
2002FerusGagosian Gallery , New York City, NYGroup
2002The New York School: Abstract Expressionism and BeyondUMMA - The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MIGroup
2002ImpressionsGalerie Beyeler, BaselGroup
2002American BeautyAnnely Juda Fine Art, LondonGroup
2002Color Field: Spotlight on the Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, HoustonMFAH - Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TXGroup
2002Henri Matisse Ellsworth Kelly: Plant DrawingsSaint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MOGroup
2002Images of NatureMFA - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, MAGroup
2002FlatlineCirrus Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2002Memoir of FreedomCAM - Chelsea Art Museum, New York City, NYGroup
2002Henri Matisse , Ellsworth Kelly : dessins de plantesMusée National d´Art Moderne, ParisGroup
2001Ellsworth Kelly - Posters, 1951-2001Susan Sheehan Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2001Ellsworth Kelly - BlueWhite Cube, LondonSolo
2001Ellsworth Kelly - Gray 1975-77Matthew Marks Gallery - 523 West 24th Street, New York City, NYSolo
2001Claude Monet und die ModerneKunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, MunichGroup
2001Tenth Anniversary Exhibition - 100 Drawings and PhotographsMatthew Marks Gallery - 523 West 24th Street, New York City, NYGroup
2001Vital forms - American Art in the anatomic age, 1940-1960 Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York City, NYGroup
2001A defining generation. Then and Now. 1961 and 2001The Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MAGroup
2001Monets Vermächtnis - Serie - Ordnung und ObsessionHamburger Kunsthalle, HamburgGroup
2001Early Modern ArtThe Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MAGroup
2001Fourth International Biennial Exhibition: Beau Monde: Toward a Redeemed CosmopolitanismSite Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NMGroup
2001SITE Santa Fe's Fourth International BiennialSITElines, Santa Fe, NMGroup
2001Minimalismos. Un signo de los tiemposMuseo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, MadridGroup
2001Paper Invitational IVWoodward Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2001De Artaud ... à TwomblyMusée National d´Art Moderne, ParisGroup
2001Light and Movement of the Century Abstract ArtGallery Hyundai, SeoulGroup
2001Ornament und AbstraktionFondation Beyeler, RiehenGroup
2001Prints by Painters: American AbstractionsHenry Art Gallery, Seattle, WAGroup
2001Drawing is Another Kind of LanguageHonolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, HIGroup
2001Eye of ModernismGeorgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, NMGroup
2001The Draftsman's ColorsWhitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NYGroup
2001Rotating Group ExhibitionJim Kempner Fine Art, New York City, NYGroup
2000Ellsworth Kelly - Colors and CurvesJohn Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
2000Ellsworth Kelly - The Early Drawings 1948-1955Kunstmuseum Bonn, BonnSolo
2000Ellsworth Kelly - the early drawings, 1948 - 1955Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus & Kunstbau, MunichSolo
2000Ellsworth Kelly: New LithographsGemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York City, NYSolo
2000Ellsworth Kelly - the early drawings, 1948 - 1955Kunstmuseum Winterthur, WinterthurSolo
2000Foundation for Contemporary Performing Arts Benefit ExhibitionMatthew Marks Gallery - 522 West 22th Street, New York City, NYGroup
2000CROSS SECTION - WORKS FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION, 1962-2000Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego - MCASD Downtown, San Diego, CAGroup
2000In ProcessCurt Marcus Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2000The Cities CollectWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2000Century of Innocence – The History of the White MonochromeRooseum Center for Contemporary Art, MalmöGroup
2000Portraits of LeoLeo Castelli Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2000Modernism & Abstraction - Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art MuseumColby College Museum of Art, Waterville, MEGroup
2000State of the Art: Recent Gifts and AcquisitionsWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2000Body of PaintingMuseum Ludwig,CologneGroup
2000Art concretEspace de l’art concret, Mouans SartouxGroup
2000FloraMusée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, QCGroup
2000Farbe > LichtFondation Beyeler, RiehenGroup
2000Persuasive Images: Selections from the Art Collections at the University at AlbanyUniversity Art Museum University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NYGroup