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Ellen Gallagher

January 22–February 26, 2011
West 24th Street, New York

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Works Exhibited

Ellen Gallagher, IGBT, 2008 Gesso, gold leaf, ink, varnish and cut paper on paper, 79 ½ × 74 inches (201.9 × 188 cm)

Ellen Gallagher, IGBT, 2008

Gesso, gold leaf, ink, varnish and cut paper on paper, 79 ½ × 74 inches (201.9 × 188 cm)

Ellen Gallagher, Greasy, 2011 Ink, oil, graphite and printed paper on canvas, 79 ½ × 74 inches (202 cm × 188 cm)Photo by Tom Powel

Ellen Gallagher, Greasy, 2011

Ink, oil, graphite and printed paper on canvas, 79 ½ × 74 inches (202 cm × 188 cm)
Photo by Tom Powel

About

The work comes out of my desire to create an expansive, fluid realm that is both the concrete historical fragments it is made up of and the new form it describes.
Ellen Gallagher

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present recent work by Ellen Gallagher. “Greasy” is her first exhibition in New York since “DeLuxe” at the Whitney Museum in 2005.

From the outset of her career, Gallagher has brought together non-representational formal concerns (seriality, process) and charged figuration in paintings, drawings, collages, and films that reveal themselves slowly, first as intricate abstractions, then later as unnerving stories. The tension sustained between minimalist abstraction and image-based narratives deriving from her use of found materials gives rise to a dynamic that posits the historical constructions of the “New Negro”—a central development of the Harlem Renaissance—with concurrent developments in modernist abstraction. In doing so, she points to the artificiality of the perceived schism between figuration and abstraction in art.

Selecting from a wealth of popular ephemera—lined penmanship paper, magazine pages, journals, and advertising—as support for her paintings and drawings, Gallagher subjects the original elements and motifs to intense and laborious processes of transformation including accumulation, erasure, interruption and interference. Like forensic evidence, only traces of their original state remain, veiled by inky saturation, smudges, staining, perforations, punctures, spills, abrasions, printed lettering and marking, all potent evocations and emanations of time and its materiality. This attained state of "un-knowing" fascinates Gallagher and is one of the primary themes in her work.

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