The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Painter Ellen Gallagher's tragic sea tales: How African slaves went from human to cargo on the Atlantic

Painter Ellen Gallagher's tragic sea tales: How African slaves went from human to cargo on the Atlantic

On first glance, the painting that greets visitors to the South Gallery at Hauser & Wirth in downtown Los Angeles looks like a crab quietly resting on the bottom of an ocean floor. But look again and that crab morphs into the fragmented face of a person, its myriad pieces coming undone in a watery deep.

In her first solo show in Los Angeles, painter Ellen Gallagher broaches the history of the Middle Passage in ways that are both poetic and surprising — rendering underwater scenes that seem perfectly innocent at first glance, but that on second, third and fourth viewing, quietly evoke the terrible tragedies that occurred in the Atlantic Ocean during the roughly four centuries...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World
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