Catalogue entry

Ellsworth Kelly born 1923

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.'

Published in:
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