Ellen Gallagher (b. 1965)
DISRUPTION: A GENERATION OF PICTURES
Ellen Gallagher (b. 1965)

DeLuxe

Details
Ellen Gallagher (b. 1965)
DeLuxe
portfolio of sixty photogravure, etching, aquatint, and drypoints with lithography, screenprint, embossing, tattoo-machine engraving, laser cutting, and chine collé; some with additions of Plasticine, paper collage, enamel, varnish, gouache, pencil, oil, polymer, watercolor, pomade, velvet, glitter, crystals, foil paper, gold leaf, toy eyeballs, and imitation ice cubes
each: 13 x 10 in. (33 x 26.5 cm.)
overall: 84 3/4 x 176 in. (215.2 x 447 cm.)
Executed in 2004-2005. This work is number twelve from an edition of twenty plus five artist's proofs and four printer's proofs.
Provenance
Hauser and Wirth, London
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Literature
B. Curiger, J. Burckhardt, D. Graffenried, eds., Parkett: Ellen Gallagher, Anri Sala, Paul McCarthy, Zurich, 2005, pp. 28-29, 46-49 (another example illustrated).
M. Sollins, ed., Art:21. Art in the Twenty-First Century, New York, Volume 3, 2005, p. 128 (another example illustrated).
E. Chassey, I Mutanti: Adel Abdessemed, Stephen Dean, Ellen Gallagher, Adrian Paci, Djamel Tatah, Rome, 2009, p. 13 (another example illustrated).
C. Butler, A. Schwartz, eds., Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art , New York, 2010, pp. 466-467 (another example illustrated).
Deutsche Bank, ed., Art works. Deutsche Bank Collection, Frankfurt, 2011, pp. 60-63 (another example illustrated).
M. Wilson, Contemporary Art in North America, London, 2011, p. 123 (another example illustrated).
D. Tyradellis, B. Hentschel, D. Lukow eds., Wunder, Cologne, 2011, pp. 202-203 (another example illustrated).
W. Chadwick, Women, Art, and Society, London, 2012, p. 508 (another example illustrated).
C. Armstrong, R. Kelley, R. Shiff and U. Wilmes, Ellen Gallagher: AxME, London, 2013, pp. 172-183 (another example illustrated).
H. Mathews, In the Cut, Southbank, 2013, p. 8 (another example illustrated).
D. Bindman, H. Gates , The Image of the Black in Western Art. The Twentieth Century. The Rise of Black Artists, Cambridge, 2014, p. 265 (another example illustrated).
L. Haynes, ed., Speaking of People. Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art, New York, 2014, p. 58 (another example illustrated).
Exhibited
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, MOCA Miami and Hauser & Wirth Zürich, Ellen Gallagher: DeLuxe, January 2005-May 2006 (another example exhibited).
Villa Manin, Centro D'Arte Contemporanea, Infinite Painting. Contemporary Painting and Global Realism, April-September 2006, pp. 75-77 (another example exhibited and illustrated).
Stockholm, Moderna Museet, Eclipse. Art in a Dark Age, May-August 2008, pp. 109-111 (another example exhibited and illustrated).
Rüsselsheim, Stiftung Opelvillen, Der Schmerz sitzt tief / The pain runs deep, February-April 2009 (another example exhibited).
Delaware Art Museum, Exposed! Revealing Sources in Contemporary Art, August-October 2009.
Paris, Cinématheque Française, Brune/Blonde - Blonde and Brunette, October 2010-January 2011 (another example exhibited).

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Alexander Berggruen
Alexander Berggruen

Lot Essay

DeLuxe, 2004-2005, Ellen Gallagher’s explosive suite of sixty etchings individually adorned with glitter, gold leaf, coconut oil and even engraved with a tattoo machine, treats the subjects of femininity and race in America with caustic wit and revolutionary passion. The source material for DeLuxe is drawn from advertisements targeting black women, dating from the 1930s to the 1970s. The specific products illustrated in these ads are mostly comprised of a vast array of beauty products—especially those related to hair, such as wigs and pomade. The title of the work appears again and again, in various fonts and spellings, across the ads, its meaning further complicated and compromised with every repetition.

Of the many post-printing techniques that the artist applied to the sixty works that make up DeLuxe, perhaps the most distinctive is the use of plasticine, sculpted to resemble tribal masks or outrageous hairpieces, its application transforming the women of the advertisements into frightening parodies of black femininity and the prints into three-dimensional reliefs. As the historian Robin D.G. Kelley writes, “The disembodied minstrel ephemera she renders in ink, paint, rubber and plasticine—lips, eyes, etc.—Gallagher rescues these historically burdened signs from their original context and transmutes them into new forms” (R. D.G. Kelley, “Fugitives from a Chain Store,” Preserve, Des Moines, 2001, p. 12). Gallagher’s process, which at first glance can appear almost anarchic, can thus be considered a scathing means of liberating a long-entrenched, tragically disfigured identity. DeLuxe is regarded as one of the most important and multifaceted works that the artist has created to date.
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