T00511 Broadway 1958
Inscribed 'EK 58' on back of canvas and '166 B'WAY KELLY 1958' on stretcher
Oil on canvas, 78 x 69 5/8 (198 x 177)
Presented by E.J. Power through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1962
Prov: E.J. Power, London (purchased from the artist through the Galerie Maeght, Paris, 1958)
Exh: Ellsworth Kelly, Galerie Maeght, Paris, November 1958 (19)
Lit: John Coplans, Ellsworth Kelly (New York 1972), pp.63, 65, repr. pl.24 in colour
Repr: Ronald Alley, Recent American Art (London 1969), pl.18
The artist wrote of this work (12 March 1963):
'I painted "BROADWAY" (#166) during May and June 1958, and I exhibited it only once, at the Galerie Maeght in Paris in October 1958, where Mr Power bought it.
'Earlier, in January 1956, I painted a smaller version of the same painting: "BLACK AND WHITE" (#58, a study for "WALL") 28" x 22" (collection: Ethel Schwabacher, New York). This picture was in my first exhibition at Betty Parsons Gallery in May 1956. My original intention was to paint a larger black and white "Wall", but it came out red; and after "Broadway" was completed, I still wanted the black, so in July 1958 I painted "WALL" (#172) 54" x 47" (black and white). I exhibited this at Galerie Maeght in the same show with "BROADWAY" and it sold, I believe to Monsieur Dotremont in Brussels.
'Early in 1959 I painted still another version, "BLUE AND WHITE" (#204, a study for "NORTH RIVER") 20" x 18" which I own, and have never exhibited. Later that spring I painted "NORTH RIVER" (#225) 78" x 70" (blue and white) which I own. It has been exhibited at: Betty Parsons Gallery, 1959; Sixteen Americans, Museum of Modern Art, 1959; VI Bienal of Sao Paulo, 1961.
"'BROADWAY" was named after the avenue in New York City; partly as a place-name, and partly because it also reads: broad way. "WALL" was named after Wall Street, where there was once a wall, running from Broadway to the East River. The North River is another name for the Hudson River which runs parallel to Broadway and is also a broad way, but blue.
'I would like some day to complete the set and do one in white and one in yellow.'
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.383-4, reproduced p.383