Although Ellis’ work was included in important contemporary surveys during his lifetime, including the 1989 exhibition Witnesses: Against Their Vanishing, organized by Nan Goldin, only now is it beginning to garner the attention it deserves. The exhibition Darrel Ellis: Regeneration offers the first comprehensive, scholarly survey of this pioneering artist, whose highly original merging of painting, printmaking, and photography anticipated current artistic interest in archive, appropriation, and personal narrative.
The oeuvre of Darrel Ellis has presented a formidable challenge to curators and scholars over the last thirty years for its unfinished tenor, a perception heightened by his untimely death due to AIDS-related causes at age 33.
Image: Darrel Ellis, Untitled (Laure, from Father’s Photograph), ca. 1990 / courtesy of The Bronx Museum