AUSTIN, Texas — A work of art that's a free-standing building designed by the late abstract artist Ellsworth Kelly is coming to the outskirts of the University of Texas in Austin.
The building is called "Austin" in keeping with Kelly's tradition of naming works for their location. It opened Sunday.
"In January 2015, Ellsworth Kelly gifted to the Blanton the design concept for his most monumental work, a 2,715-square-foot stone building with luminous colored glass windows, a totemic wood sculpture, and fourteen black-and-white stone panels in marble. Titled 'Austin,' honoring the artist’s tradition of naming particular works for the places for which they are destined, the structure is the first and only freestanding building the artist has designed, and will be his most lasting legacy. Envisioned by Kelly as a site for joy and contemplation, 'Austin' will become a cornerstone of the Blanton’s permanent collection and will enrich the lives of visitors from around the world," the Blanton says.
The stone building is 2,715 square feet, with rows of luminous colored glass windows reminiscent of a Microsoft logo. It also features a totemic redwood sculpture and 14 black-and-white marble panels.
The New York Times broke the news, quoting the artist: “Go there and rest your eyes, rest your mind,” he said. “Enjoy it.”
It's the only building Kelly designed. It becomes the centerpiece of the permanent collection at the Blanton Museum of Art. The museum in 2015 announced a $23 million campaign to build it.
Kelly was one of the nation's most-celebrated post-World War II artists. He died in 2015 at age 92.