edited by Antonio Sergio Bessa and Leslie CozziRead more
As moving as it is complex, the multifaceted work of Darrel Ellis restages a lost vision of black selfhood and domesticity
During his short career, Bronx-born Darrel Ellis (1958–1992) created a multifaceted and expansive body of work merging painting, printmaking, photography, and drawing before his premature death due to AIDS-related causes.
Ellis’ greatest achievement happened in his early twenties, when he was given a group of negatives shot by his father, a postal worker and studio photographer who died in police custody shortly before Ellis was born. The younger Ellis’ unique studio practice involved projecting these photographic negatives onto a sculpted surface, masking out areas and re-photographing them, generating a stream of surrogates that capture the fleeting effects of memory and the experience of disillusion. Ellis’ technical and theoretical experimentation transformed contemporary serial and appropriation practices into something unrecognizably new, beautiful, and compellingly heartfelt. Darrel Ellis: Regeneration offers the first comprehensive scholarly survey of Ellis’ practice and includes essays by the curators with added contributions by Makeda Djata Best, Allen Frame, Scott Homolka, Linda Owen, and Kyle Croft.
The first comprehensive scholarly survey of this pioneering artist, whose highly original merging of painting, printmaking, and photography anticipated current artistic interest in archive, appropriation, and personal narrative.
•Co-organized by the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
Antonio Sergio Bessa is a scholar of concrete poetry and Chief Curator Emeritus at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Leslie Cozzi is Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs at the Baltimore Museum of Art.