Ellsworth Kelly began painting abstractly, thanks to French schoolchildren. The American artist had been living and teaching in Paris when he dreamed one night that he and his students climbed onto scaffolding to paint large squares on a wall. Soon after, he began making his grids, painting and cutting out colored squares and arranging them based on games of chance he'd invented for himself. Some grids hang in LACMA's “Ellsworth Kelly: Prints and Paintings” show right now. So do other smart, fun color convergences from the 60-plus-year career of an artist still excited by the way red pops when painted over blue or how a right angle and a curve can combine to make shapes he's never seen before. 5905 Wilshire Blvd.; through April 22. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org.

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 22. Continues through April 22, 2012

LA Weekly