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Abstract Painting Master Ellsworth Kelly of Oradell, 92

American abstract painting master Ellsworth Kelly, who grew up in Oradell, died Sunday at his home in Spencertown, NY. He was 92.
American abstract painting master Ellsworth Kelly, who grew up in Oradell, died Sunday at his home in Spencertown, NY. He was 92. Photo Credit: Jeremiah Garcia

ORADELL, N.J. -- American abstract painter Ellsworth Kelly, who grew up in Oradell, died Sunday at 92 in his home in Spencertown, N.Y., nj.com reported.

Born in Newburgh, N.Y., in 1923, Kelly and his family moved to Oradell, where he attended public school and his grandmother introduced him to bird-watching at the reservoir, according to nj.com . Later, he wrote that his early interest in nature taught him to “see.”

Kelly left the Pratt Institute to enlist in the U.S. Army in 1943, where he designed silk screen posters used to teach infantry units about concealment technique. After the war, he studied art in Boston and for several years in France. He returned to New York in 1954 influenced by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. According to the Matthew Marks Gallery, his artistic representative, he “bridged European and American modernism,” the obituary says .

Considered a master of abstract painting and sculpture, Kelly was best known for geometric paintings in brilliant colors, according to nj.com . The Marks Gallery said Kelly was inspired by both the natural and the man-made world around him, and his work "was shaped by his interest in the spaces between places and objects and between his work and its viewers."

His works are in the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Oradell Public Library, which he supported through the years, nj.com reported.

Kelly is survived by photographer Jack Shear, his husband, nj.com said.

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