Home > Past Exhibitions > Inner and Outer Space > David Ellis

OKAY, 2008
HD BluRay DVD TRT: 10 minutes
FLY, 2008
HD BluRay DVD TRT: 6 minutes
OH, 2008
paper, matte medium, oil enamel and latex house paint on wood panel, 34 x 21”
US, 2008
paper, matte medium, oil enamel and latex house paint on wood panel, 55 x 34”
OH, 2008
paper, matte medium, oil enamel and latex house paint on wood panel, 55 x 34”
DROPTET, 2008
4 DVDs TRT: 6 minutes each
David Ellis arrived at the Mattress Factory with a personal archive of collected papers and images and a Quonset-hut like structure in which to paint and be photographed. Essentially transporting the studio inside the Mattress Factory for his residency period, Ellis painted from morning to night inside the curved structure for 15 days in the museum’s lobby. Working in a tunnel of white light with a still camera pointed down from the ceiling, and producing a high-speed camera shoot over one weekend, the cameras captured the artist painting from a bird’s eye view perspective every few seconds. The only record of the continuous layering of paintings that he produced is this volume of digital images, now edited into an animated motion painting entitled OKAY.
DROPTET is a four-part video installation. The title derives from a combination of the word “quartet” and “droplet.” Shot with a high-speed camera at 1000 frames per second, we see paint pouring from the camera in slow motion, bursting onto the floor and coming back at the viewer—a continuous flow. The work becomes a visual quartet. In FLY, to be shown on the CAPA High School electronic billboard in downtown Pittsburgh, the artist catapults into the frame, followed by a flow of paint. Skidding on his back across the wet floor, he leaves the frame, only to then return and elevate out of the visual space.
For the paintings OH and US, the artist paints onto collaged pages comprised of the his to-do list and hardware store needs, papers from the daily grind, as well as things he finds on the street that might spark an idea for new work or trigger a memory. Ellis then responds to the pages by painting in and on them, rhythmically providing a pulse. The painted layer is graphic, loose and flowing. Ellis calls his signature painting form—a graphic wave in silver and black— “flow,” representing motion in air and water. There is an unconscious, visual catalog below the surface of the final work—an archaeological, archival underpinning inside the painting, submerged below grade.
   
   
   

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