Ellen Gallagher, "Fronts" 1997 oil, acrylic, pencil and paper on canvas 120x96 in.
right: Conglimpscious 1997 oil, ink and paper on canvas 120x96 in.

Mar 7-Apr 11 '98 at Gagosian 136 Wooster Street

Neville Wakefield says: "Set adrift within these fields of uninterrupted pleasure, the eye tends to wander before being pulled into dense patterns of drawn marks. Only then does it become apparent that interwoven within the loose limbed grids are subtle inquisitions into Gallagher's own identity. Nestled into the quilted backgrounds are the faces of an itinerant minstrel show, a delirious jumpin' jive of thick grinning lips, whites of eyes, and pickaninny heads. Beautifully drawn, the effect is nonetheless disarming - as though the artist had decided to open a suitcase full of forbidden history and dump the contents in the pure space of abstract minimalism."

galleryhopping 3/98