Ellen Gallagher’s artworks blend fact with fiction, and combine abstraction with recognisable images.

Many of Ellen Gallagher’s works are rooted in found images or refer to historical events. She draws upon a range of sources that include science fiction, social history, marine science and Black lifestyle magazines from the 1930s to the 1970s. Her variety of techniques is just as wide, including painting, drawing, cutting, print-making, sculpture and collage.

At first glance paintings such as Paper Cup (1996) appear to be abstract, with grid lines and geometric patterns. On closer inspection the surface is a collage made using handwriting paper and covered with hundreds of tiny drawings of body parts.

Gallagher often returns to similar themes and motifs. ‘Like jazz, you revisit and repeat with slight changes and build structure’, she has said. ‘It’s a shifting loop that with each rotation doesn’t line up precisely.

The ARTIST ROOMS programme of exhibitions with partner museums and galleries enables access to modern and contemporary art of international significance in rural areas, small towns and major cities throughout the UK.

PaintingPrints & drawingsSculptureContemporary artLondonArtist Rooms


Tate Modern

Bankside, London, Greater London, SE1 9TG

020 7887 8888

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