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ellen gallagher: don't ax me, by ellen gallagher

Ellen Gallagher, Ellen Gallagher: Don't Ax Me. (New York: New Museum, [2013])

Ellen Gallagher (b. 1965) is one of the most acclaimed American artists working today. Her paintings, collages, drawings, sculpture, animation, and film installations, which shift between abstraction and figuration, create dynamic encounters between the historic and the present through commentary about race, racism, and cultural identity. Her works explore the language of modernist painting with symbolic or narrative content, often touching on issues of representation.  Don’t Ax Me was published on the occasion of the exhibition in New York at the New Museum, June 19 - September 15, 2013, curated by Gary Carrion-Murayari.

From the museum website:  “Spanning the past twenty years, “Don’t Axe Me” will provide one of the first opportunities to thoroughly examine the complex formal and thematic concerns of one of the most significant artists to emerge since the mid-1990s. The title of the exhibition, “Don’t Axe Me,” evokes her radical approach to image, text, and surface—drawing equally from modernism, mass culture, and social history…  The exhibition traces the transformations, excavations, and accumulations of Gallagher’s practice through a number of her iconic paintings, drawings, prints, and film installations. A major new series of paintings will be presented alongside some of the artist’s most celebrated works. These include several of her early paintings, comprised of intricate drawings rendered on penmanship paper and collaged onto the surface of the canvas, as well as a selection of works on paper using watercolor, ink, cut paper, and other diverse materials. The exhibition highlights the humor, historical depth, psychological complexity, and formal inventiveness inherent in Gallagher’s rich oeuvre."