2019 55¢ Ellsworth Kelly – "Gaza"
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: May 31, 2019
First Day City: Spencertown, NY
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 20,000,000
Ellsworth Kelly was known for his paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Yet his final, and most enduring project, was a work of architecture.
In 1986, a television producer asked Kelly to design a building for his vineyard in Santa Barbara, California. Kelly designed the building, but the project fell through and he expected it would never be built.
Then in 2012, the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin approached Kelly about constructing his chapel as a place for contemplation. Kelly spent the last three years of his life working on the project, though he wouldn't get to see it as he was too ill to travel. But he oversaw all that he could from his New York studio. The 2,715-square-foot chapel features colored-glass windows that reflect the sunlight across the white walls. There are also 14 black and white marble panels, his take on the stations of the cross, as well as an 18-foot totem sculpture. While the building is referred to as a chapel, it has no religious connections. Kelly's partner said "It's a chapel really dedicated to creativity... It's a secular chapel."
Kelly died before the chapel was completed in 2018, but it is considered his greatest masterpiece. In his final months, Kelly spoke hopefully about the chapel, saying it was a joyful space where one could go and "rest your eyes, rest your mind."