“Possessing a strong technical style and a unique visual vocabulary, Gerard Ellis combines realistic acrylic paintings with the imaginative sketches of a child in Untitled (Encounter II). Large-scale and expressive, the work contains a dramatic quality that hovers between “speed and stillness, paralysis and aggression.” Review by Natalie Trainor. Art Nerd New York.
A painter and draftsman by calling and choice, Gerard Ellis establishes an interesting dichotomy between the parctice of painting and social critique. His pictorial work is highly expressive and viorus for those who directly or indirectly participate in the multiple strata of the contexts of wich this artist speaks.
His are pieces that lead us to those delicious territories of sarcasm and irony that this artist knows how to create. Sara Hermann. Art Historian and Curator.
La gran mano del poeta Gerard Ellis salta a la vista desde la apariencia infantil que contiene el dolor y la euforia de este poema fragmentado en variables de la asfixia. Aquella que recrea el hecho de existir en una ciudad impoluta, la de su infancia proyectada en la galería vivencial. Una ciudad personal se preserva de la ciudad real. El poeta ha borrado sus huellas del blanco, nadie parece haber tocado estas telas. Pero un fragmento puede delatarle, es cosa de acercarse a la pureza hiriente de este artista y leer claramente su poema blanco: “ Estemos atentos, tratemos de abstraernos del ruido que NY produce, sigamos el rastro de su mano también blanca, como el poema … nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.” By Wendy Guerra Escritora y Poeta cubana.
Gerard Ellis makes use of remarkable variety of techniques and mediums at the time of resolving his rigorous pictorial exercises. He uses collage, acrylic and oil. The emphasis on concept and composition becomes a distinctive trait of this disturbing and suggestive visual universe. The structural and expressive recourses of drawing are key elements in the process of materialization and depuration of this universe. We are faced with the display of an essentially playful, poetic, and reflexive symbolic practice. We are faced with an oeuvre that takes us to the periphery of amazement, chromatic spaces, as well as the microphysics of its translucent materiality, induces in us a profound reflection on its vitality, and also on its ethic and revealing implications. Amable Lopez Melendez. Chief Curator, Museum of Modern Art, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
“Lyle O. Reitzel Gallery’s booth is a perfect example of where VOLTA’s solo configuration really shines. Their featured artist, Gerard Ellis was able to share the full breadth of his abilities with a mutable style that dances between photo realistic renderings and muddied abstractions. Potentially dramatic and theatrical tableaux are punctuated by an artificial stillness and tension that halts the action, as if you are looking in on a static diorama. The expansive works invite viewers to get closer, wherein you discover Ellis’ meticulous handiwork and detailed evidence of his experience as a draftsman. Oftentimes hairline brushstrokes and wire-framed accents are utilized to support and embellish the hulkier components of the work”. Review by Elizabeth Devlin, Boston Contributor. New American Paintings.
Ellis’ paintings, exhibit, above all a solid and refined spatial sensitivity which refutes the “horror vacui” which has come to characterize much of Dominican painting since the 1980’s especially amongst its youngest practitioners. Instead these works tend present a sparse reality, expressions of diverse forms and eloquent spatial arrangements, a strict dichromatic use of black and white, a sterility and facility in creating opaqueness and transparency.
Ellis possesses a resolutely contemporary sense of composition, based on asymmetry and the arranging of elements away from the center of canvas, energizing his images while imbuing them with unexpected and suggestive mystery, given the luminosity in his tonalities. What is expressed is neither archaic symmetry, classical equilibrium or the entropic dispersions of abstract expressionism, instead what exists is a vision of a fragmented world, relating closely to the aesthetic values of photography and film. Re-contextualizing and re-appropriating figurative iconography through abstract stains Ellis expresses themes of existentialism and occasionally brushing up against the borders of symbolism. Laura Gil Art Historian and Art critic.
The Gerard Ellis’ works that I know, have born and continue being born in the Post-Medial Era of Science Fiction, cable TV and Internet and the virtual reality; move around the metaphor of certain analytical symbolism that spins around the idea of the original sense of the animals, their pristine sense and how the human being has taken it away, humiliating their nature, and the transformation of the relations that the human beings have with these animals, while we coexist with them, or while we avoid coexisting with them; it is to say; we are in a bilateral relation of enmity. That is, while this relation is and it is pronounced openly as a relationship of obvious reference to the Dominant Power. Omar-Pascual Castillo, Artistic Director Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno.
The work of Gerard Ellis is indeed painting with a purpose. For the viewer of these works, Ellis creates visual compositions that excite on a visceral level with vivid juxtapositions of color and form coupled with the possibility of providing potent metaphors. They exist as a vehicle for Ellis; they serve not only as a cathartic medium but also as a profound, intimate and detailed exploration of the unavoidable conflicts and tensions intrinsic to being. Bryan Barcena. Curatorial Assistant at the Institute of Contemporary Art /Boston.