Cataloguing the Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres / Ellsworth Kelly exhibition at The French Academy in Rome, Villa Medici, this book presents a show that embodies the new approach toward Franco-American relations by reflecting the historic and artistic cultural ties between the two countries. The director of The French Academy in Rome, Éric de Chassey is half French and half American and his attitude and presence provides firm ground on which to place this new-world-old-world tête-à-tête.
The catalogue presents the never-before-seen works of Ellsworth Kelly along with a selection of Ingres’ drawings and paintings from The Louvre. It reflects the striking visual narrative of the exhibition, while maintaining the individual readability of each work for an exceptional presentation of two great artists that transcends time and space. The catalogue will include critical texts in three languages (French, Italian, and English) by Éric de Chassey and New York’s Whitney Museum curator Carter Foster.
The visual dialogue between the work of the two artists seeks to understand what links the work of this American artist when he lived in Paris and the French painter whose work inspired academicism and many innovations in modern art. The exhibition was jointly conceived by Ellsworth Kelly and Éric de Chassey.
Ellsworth Kelly was born on May 31, 1923 in Newburgh, New York. Throughout his career, he crossed the traditional boundaries between painting, sculpture, and architecture. From 1950 to 1951, Kelly taught at the American School in Paris. He had his first Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1973, and had a career retrospective in 1996 organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres was more severe in his theories of art than in his own production, both in concept and in the handling of tone and texture. His basic belief in “art for art’s sake,” his rich colour, and his brilliant drawing make Ingres a truly universal artist. In 1834, he came to Italy for the second time where he served as director of the French Academy in Rome, Villa Medici until his final return to Paris in 1841.
Printed in Italy