Kelly shines in new Boston MFA contemporary art wing

Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:48pm EDT
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By Ros Krasny

BOSTON (Reuters) - Boston's Museum of Fine Arts opens a large new contemporary art wing this weekend in what curators say reflects a more forward-looking tilt to the city's arts scene.

Anchoring the launch is the temporary exhibit, "Ellsworth Kelly: Wood Sculpture," surveying four decades of works by the famous American minimalist painter and sculptor.

The Linde Family Wing of Contemporary Art, which includes more than 21,000 square feet of gallery space, is housed in the MFA's 1981 I.M. Pei expansion.

More than 200 pieces from the permanent collection are on show, arranged in seven galleries that range from paintings to decorative arts to video and new media.

"Contemporary collectors in Boston have been fired up for a long time, and they've been waiting for this," said Al Miner, an assistant curator at the MFA.

Economic jitters notwithstanding, interest in buying contemporary art is "through the roof," Miner said.

Kelly, who attended a pre-opening event on Thursday, has been feted with retrospectives at New York's Guggenheim Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others, and has worked with wood sporadically over a six-decade career.

Nineteen of his more than 30 sculptures in wood, made from 1958 to 1996, are on display in Boston.   Continued...

<p>A 1968 work from Ellsworth Kelly titled "Blue Green Yellow Orange Red" displayed as part of the Ellsworth Kelly: Wood Sculpture exhibition at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts is seen in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/Ellsworth Kelly courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts/Handout</p>