Ellen Gallagher @ Tate Modern

African Art in London

Ellen Gallagher’s first major UK retrospective is currently being held at the Tate Modern until 1 September. The title of the exhibition, AxME, is a play on words: to resemble the cartoon corporation Acme, known for its outlandish products that fail catastrophically, also a reference to the African-American vernacular for “Ask me”.

Gallagher’s work is gorgeously intricate, bringing together myth, nature, art and social history in painting, drawing, relief collage, print, sculpture, film and animation. In 2007 a series of her Watery Ecstatic paintings, inspired by the myth of the Black Atlantis – an underwater city populated by the descendents of Africans thrown off slave ships – was shown at the Tate Liverpool.  To know more about her work and how she creates be sure to read this Guardian interview with her from a few weeks ago. Also: Jackie Kay’s review of her Tate Liverpool show, Coral Cities.

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Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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