Ellsworth Kelly once wrote: ``All art since the Renaissance seemed too man-oriented. I liked the object quality. An Egyptian pyramid, a Sung vase, a Romanesque church appealed to me.... '' Kelly is quoted by curator Diane Upright in ``Ellsworth Kelly: Works on Paper,'' the catalog of a traveling exhibition that is the first major retrospective of the painter and sculptor to be devoted exclusively to his sketches, drawings, and photographs.
The barns in the photographs shown here, are not the usual symbols of country life. Instead, they are abstract, revealing the artist's ability to see forms in unlikely places, as well as his preoccupation with positive and negative space.
Kelly once said that he thought of the many barns he photographed, not as barns specifically, but as ``buildings with large roofs. They aren't subject matter - they could be anything.''
The exhibit, which originated at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, opened at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on Dec. 2. It will move to the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (March 5 through May 15, 1988); the Baltimore Museum of Art (May 29 through July 24); the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Aug. 11 through Sept. 25); and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (Oct. 22 through Dec. 31).