Ellen Gallagher and Walton Ford

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Ellen Gallagher and Walton Ford Ellen Gallagher was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1965, and lives and works in New York and Rotterdam, Holland. She went to Oberlin College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Initially, Gallagher was drawn to the wig advertisements because of their grid-like structure. Later, she realized that it was the accompanying language that attracted her, and she began to bring these “narratives” into her paintings—making them function through the characters of the advertisements, as a kind of chart of lost worlds. From afar, the work appears abstract and minimal; upon closer inspection, goodly eyes, reconfigured wigs, tongues, and lips of minstrel caricatures multiply in detail. In her earlier works, Gallagher glued pages of penmanship paper onto stretched canvas and then drew and painted on it. Walton Ford was born in 1960 in Larchmont, New York. Ford graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with the intention of becoming a filmmaker, but later adapted his talents as a storyteller to his unique style of large-scale watercolor. Blending depictions of natural history with political commentary, Ford’s meticulous paintings satirize the history of colonialism and the continuing impact of slavery and other forms of political oppression on today’s social and environmental landscape. Each painting is as much a tutorial in flora and fauna as it is as a scathing indictment of the wrongs committed by nineteenth-century industrialists or—locating the work in the present—contemporary American consumer society. Walton Ford is the recipient of several national awards and honors, including a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In most of Ellen’s paintings she uses graphite and oil to paint on canvas. On the other hand, Walton uses watercolors to blend the

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