Ellen Gallagher - Galerie Max Hetzler

Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to present Murmur, an exhibition of new work by Ellen Gallagher. GMH Zimmerstrasse features 10 works on paper by Gallagher that are complimented by an animated film at GMH Holzmarktstrasse. Both the drawings and the related animation are part of the Watery Ecstatic series begun by the artist in 2001.

Gallagher's works on paper feature both naturalistic and fantastical forms. The images, which Gallagher refers to as 'wig embryos' and 'whale embryos', populate a mythical underwater world called Drexciya.*

For Gallagher the wig, like the blackface minstrel mask that she has used insistently in other works, adds to the body as a cultural sign while simultaneously offering the possibility of corporeal expansion. Significantly, wigs also constrict; they constrain the body. Through playful invention and intervention, Gallagher subverts the socioculturally embedded signs and thereby resists a historically delimited possibility.

The artist produced many of the images by cutting and scraping the paper, thereby stetching the definition of drawing itself. Whereas previously Gallagher has covered her canvases with penmanship paper remarkable for its 'fugitive' quality (meaning that it will darken with time), here she uses archival paper, a stock that will maintain its whiteness. Gallagher points out that in water, all that is dead turns white.

In her animated film Murmur, (2003) Gallagher explores moving drawings for the first time. Here the grid-like structure of Gallagher's paintings is expanded as a serial inscription in time: frame after frame the grid is projected through light.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1965, Ellen Gallagher currently lives in New York City and Rotterdam. She has exhibited internationally in both group and solo shows, including recent shows at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, and P.S.1. Contemporary Art Center in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gallagher's works on paper and a new sculpture were featured in a solo exhibition titled Preserve that originated at the Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, in 2001. New work is currently on view at the St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, and in the Italian Pavillion at the 50th Venice Biennial. This is her second solo show with Galerie Max Hetzler.

For more information, please contact the gallery at 030 229 2437, or visit our website at www.maxhetzler.com. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm.

* Drexciya is the name of a Detroit-based band who described Drexciya as a mythic land in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean made up entirely of women and children who had leapt from slave ships during the Middle Passage.