Seth Ellison

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Seth Ellison (American; b. 1984, Beckley, WV) graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2009 and received an MFA from University of the Arts in 2012. His paintings seek to understand global conditions of poverty, isolation, bigotry, loneliness and manipulation via the lens of the American South.

Reviving and expressing that region’s struggles and contradictions, the artist reweaves its specific social mythology with contemporary politics and his own personal experiences. Ellison’s practice skillfully quilts facets of abstraction and representation to compose an expansive and lyrical vision brimming with allegory. His process is additive and automatic, lifting from popular media sources and art historical movements. This hybridization of influences proposes an examination of our stereotypes, limitations and fears, and is permeated by an underlying yearning for transcendence. Instead of suppressing the seemingly inevitable outcome of using these sources—the bucolic, nostalgic, and sentimental—Ellison reaches to embrace and recontextualize them from a contemporary vantage point.

The artist’s work was the subject of a recent solo exhibition at Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park, MD entitled Days of Strange Grandeur. Group exhibitions include those at Studio Artego, New York, NY; Incubator Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Court Tree Collective, Brooklyn, NY; Sojourner Gallery, New York, NY; Ice Cream Social, Port Chester, NY; Gallery051, Busan, South Korea; Royal Blue Gallery, London, UK; and, FRESH SALAD, London, UK. Ellison’s work has been featured in Huts Magazine, Artsin Square, Art Seen, and Modern Renaissance among many others. Forthcoming projects include a solo exhibition at My Pet Ram, New York, NY and at Stellarhighway, Brooklyn, NY.

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