description of Untitled (Mandorla) by Ellsworth Kelly

This geometric artwork is an oval with pointed ends at the top and bottom, resembling the shape of an almond. Its sides are angled forward like wings coming towards us. A vertical crease runs down the center, allowing it to gently fold off the wall. The piece hangs high enough* that you have to crane your neck to see the top of it. If you stand close, it hovers over you, defying gravity. The bronze has been polished to a velvety, almost golden sheen. The surface is smooth and seems to glow. It feels luminous and other-worldly. The mandorla shape is often seen in religious architecture, enclosing the figure of a holy person and reflecting light around them.

Ellsworth Kelly, Untitled (Mandorla), 1988
Ellsworth Kelly, Untitled (Mandorla), 1988; bronze, 101 in. x 54 in. x 21 1/2 in. (256.54 cm x 137.16 cm x 54.61 cm); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and promised gift of Helen and Charles Schwab; © Ellsworth Kelly
Ellsworth Kelly, Untitled (Mandorla), 1988

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Untitled (Mandorla)
Artist name
Ellsworth Kelly
Date created
1988
Classification
sculpture
Medium
bronze
Dimensions
101 in. x 54 in. x 21 1/2 in. (256.54 cm x 137.16 cm x 54.61 cm)
Date acquired
1999
Credit
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and promised gift of Helen and Charles Schwab
Copyright
© Ellsworth Kelly
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/99.355
Artwork status
On view on floor 4 as part of Approaching American Abstraction

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