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1000 WORDS: ELLEN GALLAGHER

For the past decade, Ellen Gallagher has charted the contours of worlds both fantastic and unimaginably real, where minstrel-show ephemera contaminate otherwise elegant compositions to the visible chagrin of blushing penmanship paper; the dark history of the Middle Passage is refracted through a watery heterotopia of swirling oil and ink; and bulbous lips and bulging eyes cling stealthily to the icy porcelain geometry of a mock jungle gym. All the while unburdened by the dictates of identity politics (for which she has too often been cast as a cipher), Gallagher has recently turned her attention to the particularities of subjecthood elided in universalizing abstraction. POMP-BANG, 2003, is the third work in a new series that began with Falls & Flips, 2001, and Double Natural, 2002, and will swell to eight contingent panels, each featuring recurring characters centered on archival material

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