Ellen Gallagher: Nu-Nile

The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada
23 Jun 2018 - 03 Sep 2018

Edgar Cleijne and Ellen Gallagher, Highway Gothic, 2017. 16 mm film installation with 70 mm film and textile cyanotype banners. © Edgar Cleijne. © Ellen Gallagher. Courtesy the artists, Hauser & Wirth and Gagosian.
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The Power Plant presents Ellen Gallagher’s first solo exhibition in Canada.

Born in the port city of Providence, Rhode Island Ellen Gallagher has long been an inspired and imaginative chronicler of the watery ecstatic realm. Her large-scale history paintings featuring seascapes, science experiments, portraiture, abstraction and minstrelsy are mutinous assertions of blackness in a medium in which the African body has habitually been concealed. Her exploration of visual culture covers a wide ranging temporal terrain that stretches from blackface minstrelsy to 20th century abstraction, and includes mining of vernacular forms as diverse as science fiction, advertising, mid-century race magazines, travelogues and scrimshaw in order to address and release the concealed threads which bind the visible.

Nu-Nile reveals Gallagher’s practice of synthesizing a wide range of pictorial traditions in order to counter static representations of black people in culture, and critically examines and reimagines the figure-ground protocols circulating within the canon of Western painting.

Encompassing paintings, drawings and films, Nu-Nile is Ellen Gallagher’s first solo exhibition in Canada.

Curator: Carolin Köchling, Curator of Exhibitions
Assistant Curator: Justine Kohleal, RBC Curatorial Fellow

This Summer 2018 Season, The Power Plant also presents solo exhibitions by  Grada Kilomba and Abbas Akhavan.