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← Ellen Gallagher: Cutting | "Exclusive" | Art21

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Showing Revision 1 created 07/31/2014 by Amara Bot.

  1. [Ellen Gallagher: Cutting]
  2. I grew up in New England
  3. and I live now between Rotterdam and New York.
  4. I'm actually a big bird watcher in Rotterdam
  5. because it's a great migratory space
  6. and I'm there with my binoculars,
  7. and hiking around there.
  8. And I'm looking very precisely
  9. at these fleeting glimpses of birds.
  10. You try to remember what you've seen,
  11. it's gone, and then you try to find it again.
  12. In the bird paintings,
  13. I start with a more precise drawing,
  14. and then from that drawing,
  15. I abstract the form.
  16. And it has to be abstract.
  17. It wouldn't work if it was really like
  18. a completely believable, detailed,
  19. precise rendering of the bird.
  20. I like radically cutting into the painting,
  21. inserting these paper birds,
  22. and then trying to figure out how to believe
    in it.
  23. I'd have to somehow, then,
  24. weave them back into the paintings.
  25. The things that separates the planes
  26. are the incisions and the edges of the matter.
  27. Each separate layer of cutting or painting
  28. is visible
  29. and readable as an edge.
  30. It is interesting to see
  31. the way content surfaces over time,
  32. both in my mind and in the skin of the work.
  33. ["Watery Ecstatic Series" (2001--2009)]
  34. The "Watery Ecstatic" works were more kind
  35. narrative--literary--relationship to the sea.
  36. The cut drawings were about
  37. bringing that biological surface
  38. into the form of the drawing.
  39. I used to get these air bubbles that annoyed
  40. The slice I made when the paper was wet,
  41. just to release air bubbles,
  42. opened up and became this sort of
  43. cut that was fleshy.
  44. And it's funny, then,
  45. as you move into the "Watery Ecstatic" works
  46. to see that cut become so conscious.
  47. For me, I found that to be a surprise.
  48. Cutting a graphic edge from the earlier works
  49. into the newer works
  50. has been, I think, consistent.