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Ellsworth Kelly sculpture

Object | Accession Number: 1992.237.1 a-d

Ellsworth Kelly site specific sculpture commissioned by the United States Holocaust memorial Museum Art in Public Spaces program. The Art for Public Spaces Program was established to commission works of artistic merit that address the singularity of the Museum and contribute to the visitor's experience of the Museum in ways that are substantial and distinct from the permanent or special exhibitions. Four site-specific works of art, 'Memorial' being among them, were chosen by an independent jury comprised of contemporary art curators and specialists. The subcommittee included Holocaust survivors and specialists in the field of Holocaust history. The architect collaborated with the artists to ensure a harmonious relationship of each work to its architectural context.

Ellsworth Kelly's work, "Memorial," creates a distinct environment and fills a room where visitors to the Museum's Permanent Exhibition are invited to pause before proceeding into the next section of the historical documentation. The room is pie-shaped in plan and includes a skylight as its northeast corner. Essential to the artist's conception for the space is the whiteness of the room itself, and the four wall-mounted sculptures, also entirely white. Kelly's use of evenly colored surfaces plays a key role in the character of each work. For "Memorial," the artist limited himself to white, creating a low-contrast, visually hushed environment. The largest of the forms, which is fan-shaped, stretches nearly twenty-seven feet at its widest point and floats several inches out from the longer, eastern wall of the room. The three identical rectilinear forms are mounted in an even sequence, four feet apart, and project several inches in front of the room's western wall. The subtle interplay between the walls and the wall sculptures produces shadows that remain present regardless of the time of day. Kelly has likened the sequence of three equal forms to memorial tablets that, in their anonymity, bear the names of all victims of the Holocaust. The artist worked with the architect James Ingo Freed to conceive and design the seating for the room, which offers visitors several views of the installation.

Artwork Title
found:  1992
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:45:26
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