artists

Gallagher (1964, US) attended Oberlin College, Ohio; artist Michael Skop’s private art school Studio 70; the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1992); and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine (1993). Her early work hinged the aesthetics of 1960s Minimalism to racist minstrelsy and blackface physiognomy. Other biomorphic forms (eyes, tongues, and hair) appear in abstract clusters throughout her oeuvre. Gallagher received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Art in 2000 and began her ongoing Watery Ecstatic (2001–) series the following year, where she invents complex biomorphic forms that she relates to the mythical Drexciya, an undersea kingdom populated by the women and children who were the tragic casualties of the transatlantic slave trade. Drexciya is featured again in Gallagher’s film installation Murmur (2003–04), made in collaboration with Dutch artist Edgar Cleijne. Combining celluloid film with computer animation, Gallagher and Cleijne developed an aesthetic that emerges from the intersection of archival sources, fiction, and memory.

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