jean auguste dominique ingres + ellsworth kelly at villa medici jean auguste dominique ingres + ellsworth kelly at villa medici
jul 04, 2010

jean auguste dominique ingres + ellsworth kelly at villa medici

jean-auguste-dominique ingres / ellsworth kelly french academy in rome, villa medici on now until september 26th, 2010

currently on show at the french academy at the villa medici, rome is a presentation of the work of 20th century american painter and sculptor ellsworth kelly and 19th century french painter jean-auguste-dominique ingres.

instead of comparing the formal styles of the two artists, the exhibition aims to understand what work relationship links ellsworth kelly with ingres (who was once the director of villa medici and whose work influenced academicism and the progressions of modern art).

presenting recent works by ellsworth kelly which have never been shown before, included is a selection of his plants and figures drawings (8 oils and 28 drawings), together with a selection of ingres’ drawings and pictures (4 oils and 32 drawings). in particular, the work of ingres’ has been personally selected from the collections of the museé ingres of montauban, the musée du louvres, the besançon musée des beaux-arts and the musée de lyon, by kelly himself.

ellsworth kelly ‘blue curves’, 2009 photo by giovanni de angelis image courtesy of matthew marks gallery and french academy at villa medici, rome

the show goes across three aspects inherent in ingres’ work, which are also recognizable in kelly’s art:

the first is the connection of outline and form. ingres, like a sculptor, took great care of the form of the characters he depicted. kelly emphasizes the form and the outline up to his ‘curve series’ (2009). it is also possible to find this emphasis in his plants drawings and within his series of portraits, striking in their linear character, which are exhibited for the first time on this occasion.

second is serialism and the search for the ‘good form’. ingres’ drawings often create a good occasion to observe the way in which the final composition is arranged through moves and attempts. while in kelly’s work, the reason for this serial process is neither guided by iconography nor by an expressionist will, but rather by the search for a work that is formally right, in a complex autonomy towards the material world.

thirdly, duality between fragmentation and unity is prevalent in both artists work. the ability of visual efficiency is striking the works, reaching vision and spirit in a single blow. nevertheless, it coexists with a construction by addition of different elements which keep their individual readability.

‘yellow curve’ by ellsworth kelly photo by giovanni de angelis image courtesy of matthew marks gallery and french academy at villa medici, rome

‘orange curve’ by ellsworth kelly photo by giovanni de angelis image courtesy of matthew marks gallery and french academy at villa medici, rome

‘black curve’ by ellsworth kelly photo by giovanni de angelis image courtesy of matthew marks gallery and french academy at villa medici, rome

installation view of ellsworth kelly’s ‘curve series’ at the french academy at villa medici, rome photo by giovanni de angelis image courtesy of matthew marks gallery and french academy at villa medici, rome

installation view of ellsworth kelly’s ‘curve series’ at the french academy at villa medici, rome photo by giovanni de angelis image courtesy of matthew marks gallery and french academy at villa medici, rome

installation view of ellsworth kelly’s ‘curve series’ at the french academy at villa medici, rome photo by giovanni de angelis image courtesy of matthew marks gallery and french academy at villa medici, rome

‘blue curve’ by ellseworth kelly photo by giovanni de angelis image courtesy of matthew marks gallery and french academy at villa medici, rome

installation view of jean-auguste-dominique ingres / ellsworth kelly exhibition at villa medici photo by giovanni de angelis image courtesy of matthew marks gallery and french academy at villa medici, rome

installation view of jean-auguste-dominique ingres / ellsworth kelly exhibition at villa medici photo by giovanni de angelis image courtesy of matthew marks gallery and french academy at villa medici, rome

installation view of jean-auguste-dominique ingres / ellsworth kelly exhibition at villa medici photo by giovanni de angelis image courtesy of matthew marks gallery and french academy at villa medici, rome

installation view of paintings by jean-auguste-dominique ingres photo by giovanni de angelis image courtesy of matthew marks gallery and french academy at villa medici, rome

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