USC Roski Talks & The Broad Museum Present: Ellen Gallagher and Adrienne Edwards in Conversation

  • Ellen Gallagher, photo by © Philippe Vogelenzang / Trunk Archive, courtesy of Gagosian Gallery

Ellen Gallagher, Artist
Adrienne Edwards, Curator
Ellen Gallagher and Adrienne Edwards in Conversation
Co-Presented with The Broad Museum

Friday, February 24, 2017
7pm - 8pm
$15 General Admission
Tickets to this program include same-night access before the program to the museum's galleries, starting at 5:30 p.m.

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The Broad Museum
221 S Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Broad collection artist Ellen Gallagher and curator Adrienne Edwards will discuss Gallagher’s practice referencing her work in the context of the Broad collection, and her participation in Edwards’ recent Blackness in Abstraction exhibition, among other topics. 

Ellen Gallagher:
(Photo by © Philippe Vogelenzang / Trunk Archive, courtesy of Gagosian Gallery)
From the outset of her career, Ellen Gallagher has brought together non-representational formal concerns and charged figuration in paintings, drawings, collages, and films that reveal themselves slowly, first as intricate abstractions, then later as unnerving stories. The tension sustained between minimalist abstraction and image-based narratives deriving from her use of found materials gives rise to a dynamic that posits the historical constructions of the “New Negro”—a central development of the Harlem Renaissance—with concurrent developments in modernist abstraction. In doing so, she points to the artificiality of the perceived schism between figuration and abstraction in art. Selecting from a wealth of popular ephemera—lined penmanship paper, magazine pages, journals, and advertising—as support for her paintings and drawings, Gallagher subjects the original elements and motifs to intense and laborious processes of transformation including accumulation, erasure, interruption and interference. Like forensic evidence, only traces of their original state remain, veiled by inky saturation, smudges, staining, perforations, punctures, spills, abrasions, printed lettering and marking, all potent evocations and emanations of time and its materiality. This attained state of “un–knowing” fascinates Gallagher and is one of the primary themes in her work.

Ellen Gallagher was born in 1965 in Providence, Rhode Island. She attended Oberlin College, Ohio (1982–84); Studio 70, Fort Thomas, Kentucky (1989); School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts (1992); and Skowhegan School of Art, Maine (1993). Recent solo exhibitions include “Watery Ecstatic,” Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2001, traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, through 2002); “Preserve,” Des Moines Art Center, Iowa (2001, traveled to Yerba Buena Arts Center, San Francisco; and The Drawing Center, New York, through 2002); “POMP–BANG,” Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri (2003); “Murmur and DeLuxe,” The Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2005); “Ichthyosaurus (inc. films with Edgar Cleijne),”  Freud Museum (in collaboration with Hauser & Wirth London), London (2005); “DeLuxe,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2005); “Coral Cities,” Tate Liverpool, England (2007, traveled to Dublin City Gallery, Dublin; and The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin); “An Experiment of Unusual Opportunity,” South London Gallery, London (2009); “AxME,” Tate Modern, London (2013, traveled to Sara Hildén Art Museum, Finland; and Haus der Kunst, Munich, through 2014); “Don’t Axe Me,” New Museum, New York (2013); “Ice or Salt,” SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah (2013); and “AxME,” Haus der Kunst, Munich (2014). Gallagher participated in the Biennale di Venezia in 2003 and 2015, and was awarded the American Academy Award in Art in 2000.

Gallagher currently lives and works in New York and Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Adrienne Edwards:
Adrienne Edwards is Curator at Performa, Curator at Large, Visual Arts at the Walker Art Center, and also a PhD candidate in performance studies at New York University. Since 2010, she has spearheaded Performa’s year-round programming, contributed to the Performa biennial, and led its institutional collaborations with The Museum of Modern Art, New York and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Her curatorial work focuses on artists of the African Diaspora and the Global South, including the Blackness in Abstraction exhibition and catalogue for Pace Gallery, a recent Curatorial Fellowship awarded for Research supported by the Warhol Foundation to investigate approaches to experimentation in interdisciplinary art in Africa, and 1:54 PERFORMS for the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair. For Performa Edwards has curated programs, projects, and productions with a wide range of artists, including Performa Commissions by Edgar Arceneaux, Juliana Huxtable, Rashid Johnson, and Laura Lima, in addition to projects and productions by Pope.L, Ralph Lemon, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady, Adam Pendleton, Dave McKenzie, Wangechi Mutu, Will Rawls, and Carrie Mae Weems. Recent projects have included organizing and co-organizing Fluxus founding member Benjamin Patterson’s first retrospective concert Action as Composition (2013) and Pope.L’s Cage Unrequited (2013) for Performa 13, and Jonathas de Andrade’s A Study of Race and Class – Bahia >< New York (2015) and Chimurenga’s Library for Performa 15. Edwards works within the Walker’s visual arts department developing and implementing artist projects and exhibitions, and expanding interdisciplinary scholarship and research while making key contributions to the Walker's acquisitions planning. She is a contributor to numerous exhibition catalogues and art publications, including Aperture, Art in America,, Parkett, and Spike Art Quarterly, and has given talks and presentations at a range of symposia and discursive platforms, including at Bienal de São Paulo, Johann Jacobs Museum, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art New York, Para Site International Conference Hong Kong, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Whitechapel Gallery, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York University, Stanford and Northwestern University, among others.