Fine Art PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Fine Art PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) announces Darrel Ellis exhibition

This November 20th, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) will open the first comprehensive museum exhibition on the profoundly moving and complex work of Darrel Ellis (1958-1992). Over the course of his brief career, Ellis developed a distinct studio practice that merged the formal vocabularies of drawing, photography, painting, and printmaking to redefine Black male identity and family within the constructs of art history and mainstream culture. Ellis was influential during his life, inspiring the work of other artists and featuring in a range of significant contemporary surveys, but his career was cut short by his early death at the of age 33 due to AIDS-related causes. Darrel Ellis: Regeneration examines the full arc of Ellis’s career through approximately 60 works on paper, including a historically significant body of work that captures the experiences and public perceptions of Black men living with the AIDS virus, as well as an expansive group of portraits of his family members that offer a record of Black domestic life. On view through April 23, 2023, the presentation also reveals the results of the most comprehensive technical study of Ellis’s singular process and features archival materials that provide new insights into the artist’s life and work.

Darrel Ellis
Darrel Ellis grew up in the Bronx and graduated from Fashion Industries High School, attended classes at Cooper Union and the School of Visual Arts, and participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program. Throughout his career, Ellis participated in more than 20 group exhibitions in New York and Europe, including the 1989 exhibition Witnesses: Against Their Vanishing organized by Nan Goldin and the touring exhibition The Surrogate Figure: Intercepted Identities in Contemporary Art organized by The Center for Photography at Woodstock. His work garnered critical acclaim and in 1991, a year before his death, he received a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Award. His work was posthumously featured in the Museum of Modern Art’s New Photography 8 exhibition in 1992. While Ellis was an integral member of the downtown New York art scene, it is only now that his work is receiving the depth of study that it truly deserves. A touring retrospective of Ellis’s work was organized by Allen Frame at Art in General in 1996 and the upcoming presentation of Darrel Ellis: Regeneration marks the first major museum exhibition of his work.

More Information:

Darrel Ellis. Self portrait based on Peter Hujar photograph. c. 1990. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchase with exchange funds from the Pearlstone Family Fund and partial gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., BMA 2019.159. © Darrel Ellis Estate and Candice Madey, New York