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Our Modern Legends Edit

Our Modern Legends Edit

Celebrating our collection of blue-chip artists who have been at the forefront of major art movements throughout the 20th Century.

The last century saw the emergence of influential artists who left a lasting impact on the art world and artistic movements. Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Serra, Agnes Martin, Donald Judd, and Alexander Calder are prominent figures in this era of artistic innovation. Their contributions spanned various styles and mediums, pushing boundaries and challenging conventions.

We’re honored to feature artworks from these Modern Legends in our own collection, available to CoCollect members.

Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly, Broad Street Studio, New York, 1956. Courtesy of Ellsworth Kelly Studio.

Ellsworth Kelly redefined the trajectory of modern art during the post-war era with his simplicity and minimalist color field works. He developed a distinctive style of single-colored canvas creations, both isolated and grouped with contrasting hues. His artistic legacy shaped the course of abstract art and inspired the art world to engage with a fundamentally new aspects of visual expression. Later in his career, he focused on creating large outdoor sculptures. Then, in 2015, he gifted his visionary design concept of Austin to the Blanton Museum of Art, serving as his only architectural creation.

Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg, Broadway Studio, New York, 1962. Courtesy of Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Robert Rauschenberg had an illustrious career spanning nearly six decades. His art embraced diverse subjects, styles, materials, and techniques, challenging established boundaries between painting and sculpture with his famous “Combines” work that ultimately changed where modern art was headed, and greatly influenced the Pop Art movement. Rauschenberg’s artistic approach emerged during the dominance of Abstract Expressionism, and his contributions to the post-war movement and distinguished institutions establish him as a pinnacle figure of 20th Century art.

Richard Serra

Richard Serra. Courtesy of FineArtMultiple.

Richard Serra revolutionized the perception of space and materiality in art through his sculptures, drawings and flatwork. From early experiments with nontraditional materials to works solely balanced on weight and gravity, Serra constantly pushed the boundaries of sculpture. From exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, his remarkable achievements and innovative approaches make him an iconic figure.

Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin, 1955. Courtesy of the Collection of the Harwood Museum of Art, Taos.

Agnes Martin, an abstract painter, captured introspection through her minimalist works. Characterized by subtle lines and soft colors, her art evokes tranquility and contemplation. Martin’s dedication to solitude and exploration of the desert environment in New Mexico contributed to her distinctive artistic voice. Her paintings, exploring themes of silence and spirituality, continue to captivate audiences today.

Donald Judd

Donald Judd, Spring Street Studio, New York, 1976. Courtesy of Christie’s.

Donald Judd’s artistic journey encompassed various forms and disciplines. Transitioning from painting to three-dimensional work, Judd challenged traditional notions of art by emphasizing permanence and installation. While he didn’t like to be categorized as a minimalist, he is known as one of the fathers of minimalism. Judd started the Chinati Foundation outside of Marfa, Texas and has exhibited at renowned institutions like the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Tate Modern.

Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder, 1936. Courtesy of the Calder Foundation.

Alexander Calder gained recognition for his large, colorful sculptures characterized by humor and chance elements. He introduced dimensional kinetic sculptures to the modern art movement, now known as mobiles. His mobiles are distinguished by their colored abstract shapes made from industrial materials hung in balance, instead of being fastened to the ground. Calder also was a painter as it proved an easier study for him than working with metal. Calder was fascinated with whimsical design, and his journey culminated in numerous international sculptures.

These artists made profound contributions to the art world, pioneering major art movements in the 20th century. Despite their diverse styles and approaches, they share a common theme of innovation and pushing artistic boundaries.