The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas in Austin fundraised $23 million (£16 million) to complete the execution of Ellsworth Kelly’s minimalist pavilion, modelled after a Romanesque church. Featuring large colourful windows and geometric patterns, the building is designed as a place for “joy and contemplation”, rather than with a specific religious ambition. Kelly was an atheist.
“After Ellsworth Kelly gifted the building design to the Blanton in 2015, the museum began working to realise Austin, one of Ellsworth Kelly’s last works, and certainly one of his greatest,” said the museum.
Square monochrome paintings made on marble panels ornate the interior of the pavilion. These pieces contrast with the vibrant window designs, but are similar in their geometric simplicity, a central theme to Kelly’s oeuvre.
The building opened on 18 February 2018 in conjunction with an exhibition at the museum — Form into Spirit: Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin. A 1967 painting by Kelly called Form into Spirit’s Spectrum IV oaned from New York’s MoMa for the show.