This year would have marked the 100th birthday of the artist Ellsworth Kelly. In celebration, Lever House unveiled indoor and outdoor sculpture work by Kelly as they unveiled their newly completed $100 million renovation. The sculptures will be on view for one year.
Just released, Brookfield Properties and WatermanClark, LLC are pleased to present Ellsworth Kelly: Sculpture at Lever House, featuring a group of important freestanding sculptures produced by Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015) between 1982 and 2015. Opening May 2023, the exhibition serves as the historic building’s inaugural presentation since the onset of its $100 million redevelopment.
Though Ellsworth Kelly is widely regarded as one of the most significant painters, sculptors, draftsmen, and printmakers of the twentieth century, this new exhibition at Lever House sheds light on a lesser-known but central part of his artistic practice.
Many of the works in Ellsworth Kelly: Sculpture belong to a series of slender-yet-towering forms begun by the artist in the early 1970s, whose precise, almost classical contours take inspiration from ancient Greek figural sculpture. Mounted throughout Lever House’s newly restored indoor and outdoor spaces, this monumental body of work has seldom been the sole subject of a New York exhibition—the last major show of Kelly sculpture was staged at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1982.
The ambitious presentation offers the public a new opportunity to reevaluate a definitive series from one of America’s most influential artists, experienced within an icon of twentieth-century architecture. Freestanding planes of aluminum, bronze, and wood, Kelly’s sculptures create a dynamic interplay with Lever House’s spectacular and recently restored terrazzo, glass, and marble surfaces. A series of small-scale sculptural maquettes from throughout Kelly’s career will also be displayed in the lobby’s historic metal and glass vitrines, originally built to showcase Lever Brothers’ consumer products.
Timed to the artist’s centennial on May 31, 2023, Lever House joins several other institutions across the globe in honoring Kelly’s indelible legacy with major programs, publications, and exhibitions.
Ellsworth Kelly: Sculpture will be on view for one year through April 28, 2024. The exhibition has been organized in conjunction with the Ellsworth Kelly Studio, Matthew Marks Gallery, and Jacob King of Fine Art Concepts, LLC.
Lever House is located at 390 Park Avenue at 54th Street, NYC.