With Ellen Gallagher: AxME Haus der Kunst presents the work of African-American artist Ellen Gallagher, whose visual language is based on three cornerstones: the struggle over colonies with the formation of the modern world; the conceptual accomplishments of the arts in the 1960s and 1970s; and the notion of the archive as a dialectical linking of form and content.
As the first major solo exhibition of the artist’s work, the exhibition provides a unique opportunity to explore her twenty-year career, exploring the themes which have emerged and recurred from her seminal early canvases, through to recent bodies of work. The exhibition includes such key works as DeLuxe, 2004–5; Bird in Hand, 2006, a complex relief built up in layers of printed matter, plasticine, crystal, paint and gold leaf; and selected paintings from her black and yellow series, “Moon-Glo,” 2010, and “Pomp-Bang,” 2003.
The exhibition’s playful title, AxME, explicitly references to the cartoon Don’t Axe Me (1958), a Looney Tunes classic, and to the colloquial alteration of “Ask me.” Ellen Gallagher had used the same play on words for her solo exhibition at New Museum, New York (Don’t axe me, June 19–September 15, 2013).
Organised by Tate Modern in association with Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere and Haus der Kunst, Munich. The exhibition is curated by Juliet Bingham, Tate Modern, for the presentation in Munich in collaboration with Ulrich Wilmes.