Ellen Gallagher: AxME
1 May – 1 September 2013
A mid-career retrospective for the American artist, a first chance for many to see her evocative treatments of myth, nature, art and social history.
This show surveys Gallagher's eclectic practice over the past 20 years. Incorporating elements of abstraction and figuration, she works in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, relief, collage, print, sculpture, film and animation.
One of the recurring themes of Gallagher's work is marine life, in particular a mythical underwater Black Atlantis called Drexciya. The mythology of Drexciya describes a marine species descended from captive African slaves who were thrown overboard during the journey from Africa to America.
Her Bird in Hand (2006) is a complex relief work depicting human and marine life at the bottom of the ocean and is constructed from layers of printed matter, plasticine, crystal, paint and gold leaf.