Joshua Liner Gallery is pleased to present True Value, an exhibition of new and recent work by David Ellis.This is the artist’s debut solo show at the gallery.
With his unique blend of humor, vivid imagery, and technical invention, David Ellis channels his love for music into a variety of art genres and media, including painting, sculpture, and video installation. The artist’s kinetic sound sculpture True Value (Paint Fukette) (2011)—a large installation created in collaboration with Roberto Lange, built of discarded paint cans and buckets that beat a syncopated rhythm—was an acclaimed presentation at the recent PULSE New York art fair, winning the 2011 PULSE Prize. The artist has been critically hailed for his freestyle installations inspired by popular music and DJ culture, specifically interpreting the ways in which image, sound, materials, and technology interconnect in the contemporary cultural landscape.
For True Value, Ellis will present several of his signature “Motion Paintings,” including Animal (2011), which chronicle the creation of large mural works in time-lapse digital video. Documenting the accrual of marks and strokes of pigment on walls, floors, and other surfaces, these closely edited videos are choreographed to lively soundtracks and are works of art in their own right. Many display Ellis’s distinctive waveform graphics, or “flow,” that course over and around images of urban life and abstract cityscapes, a vestige of the artist’s early days as a graffiti writer.
In addition, the exhibition will feature new paintings on panel and tobacco-stained paper. Preparing the paper himself, the artist uses the natural material for pigment as it resonates with his upbringing in Cameron, North Carolina, where the area is predominantly tobacco fields. Ellis will also include Mubarak, an example from his “Recollection” series of sculptural works using album covers. Mounted in dense stacks on wood, the covers are “recollected” by the artist into gradient color schemes or according to other criteria, often achieving an unpredictable new resonance with their original musical content.
Born in 1971 in Raleigh, North Carolina, David Ellis received a BFA from the Cooper Union in New York City and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. He came to prominence in the early 2000s as the unofficial founder of the renowned Barnstormers, an art collective known for public projects in small-town communities in the American South. His work is held in international collections including those of Charles Saatchi and Martin Margulies. Selected solo exhibitions include Mola Salsa, New Image Art, Los Angeles (2011); Oxblood, Webb’s, Auckland, New Zealand (2009); Hopewell (Walter Gropius Series), Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, WV (2008); Motion Paintings, Zoller Gallery, Penn State University, Philadelphia, PA, and Conversation, Rice University Gallery, Houston, TX (both 2006). Selected group exhibitions include Barnstormers, Joshua Liner Gallery, New York (2010); Inner/Outer Space, Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA (2008); Ensemble, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA, and Animated Painting, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA (both 2007); Greater New York, P.S.1/MoMA, Long Island City, NY (2005); and Beautiful Losers, Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, OH (2004).