“I like radically cutting into the painting, inserting these paper birds, and then trying to figure out how to believe in it.” —Ellen Gallagher
In today’s Exclusive, Ellen Gallagher discusses the paper cutouts that she’s embedded into paintings throughout her career. Shown at the New Museum, seated in her solo exhibition Don’t Axe Me (2013), she explains how she scrapped away areas of her thickly painted canvases and inlaid black paper birds, leaving their sharply cut edges distinctly visible. Gallagher traces her interest in cutting to when she first began working with penmanship paper and needed to release air bubbles trapped under its surface. Her fondness for cut paper is most evident in her Watery Ecstatic series (2001–2009), which depicts sea creatures on intricately incised paper.
Exclusive is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; 21c Museum Hotel, and by individual contributors.