Published to document New York artist Ellen Gallagher’s first solo show in a public gallery in the UK, and featuring new work by this outstanding abstract painter. On large-scale canvases Gallagher produces seemingly delicate and subtle paintings that, on closer inspection, are revealed to be structured by a detailed visual language.
This language is inspired by her Black and Irish background – stereotypes such as cartoon style lips and eyes are repeated over and over, alongside structured marks so that the canvases become ordered and grid-like. Their apparent simplicity belies their complex power to draw in and captivate the viewer, and seducing with rich golden colours and hypnotic repeated details.
Ellen Gallagher is at the forefront of abstract painting in America, where her work has been widely exhibited. Her work was on show at Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery in October/November 1998.