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Monumental wall sculpture by Ellsworth Kelly installed on Dartmouth campus
This major site-specific work, titled Dartmouth Panels, was commissioned by longtime arts patrons Leon Black '73 and his wife Debra, who contributed $48 million towards the creation of the center.
HANOVER, NH.- In anticipation of the September 2012 opening of the new Black Family Visual Arts Center, and the inauguration of Dartmouth’s new Arts District, a wall sculpture by renowned abstract artist Ellsworth Kelly has been installed on the eastern façade of the Hopkins Center for the Arts, facing the Visual Arts Center. Kelly was in attendance for the installation.

This major site-specific work, titled Dartmouth Panels, was commissioned by longtime arts patrons Leon Black '73 and his wife Debra, who contributed $48 million towards the creation of the center. A special dedication ceremony for the Black Family Visual Arts Center, and the installation of Dartmouth Panels, will be held on September 14, 2012, in conjunction with the formal launch of Dartmouth’s yearlong celebration of the arts on campus.

“We are grateful to Leon and Debra Black for their continued generosity and for commissioning this new work of public art by Ellsworth Kelly, one of America’s most iconic abstract artists, which will enliven our new Arts District,” said Dartmouth President Carol Folt.

“The installation of a site-specific work by an artist of this significance reflects Dartmouth’s dedication to interweaving the arts into the everyday experience, and is part of a larger initiative of leveraging the arts to stimulate new connections on campus,” said Michael Taylor, chair of the Public Art Committee and director of the Hood Museum of the Art at Dartmouth. “We look forward to bringing other public artworks to Dartmouth in the coming year.”

Ellsworth Kelly and Dartmouth Panels
Ellsworth Kelly, who was born in 1923, is widely recognized as one of the greatest abstract artists working today. He is known for his use of scale, simplicity of form, and vibrant, pure colors. Dartmouth Panels reflects Kelly’s abiding interest in abstract shapes and how they intersect with their surroundings. Simple rectangular forms, such as those in Dartmouth Panels, are a well recognized part of his repertoire, and the experience of the new Dartmouth sculpture is enhanced by the relationship it has to the surrounding built environment.

The work is composed of five monochromatic aluminum panels, each painted a single block of color—yellow, green, blue, red, and orange—and each measuring over 22 feet high and 5.5 feet wide. The rectilinear hard-edged shapes of the Dartmouth Panels, play off the rounded roof-line of the Hopkins Center’s Spaulding Auditorium and echo the color spectrum, basic building blocks of visual experience.

The Hood Museum of Art collection has an early important painting by Kelly, Green-White (1961), which graced the cover of the Hood’s recent catalog of modern and contemporary holdings. The painting is currently on view at the entrance to the Hood’s galleries. The museum also owns six other works by Kelly, and presented solo exhibitions of his prints in 1990 and his plant lithographs in 2005.

The installation of the Ellsworth Kelly sculpture is one of the many events that are part of Dartmouth’s Year of the Arts—a series of special artistic programs and initiatives to be held during the 2012-2013 academic year that will highlight the school’s vibrant arts culture and reaffirm its role as one of the nation’s leading academic arts communities. The September 14 dedication of the new Black Family Visual Arts Center and Dartmouth Panels will be part of the official launch of the yearlong celebration of the arts on campus and the expansion of Dartmouth's Arts District.

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