Lee Kelly

(American, born 1932, died 2022)

Lee Kelly (1932-2022) was an Oregon-based artist. He is known nationally for his large abstract metal sculptures, that combine geometric shapes with natural forms.

Kelly was born in Idaho, the grandson of a ranching family. After studying architecture, he graduated in 1959 from the Portland Art Museum School (now known as the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon). He served in the Korean War with the U.S. Air Force from 1951-55. In 1985, he received a grant from the Oregon Arts Commission to study the traditional bronze casting methods of the Newari people in Nepal. He received an Oregon Governor's Arts Award in 1987, and he was the subject of a major career retrospective at the Portland Art Museum in 2010. He was an avid traveler and mountain climber.