Ellen Gallagher: eXelento
This book was published on the occasion of the exhibition Ellen Gallagher: eXelento at Gagosian, 555 West 24th Street, New York.
Designed by the artist with Edgar Cleijne, the volume comprises a page-by-page assemblage of three monumental paintings by Gallagher: Pomp Bang (2003), Afrylic (2004), and eXelento (2004). Each painting consists of a grid of 396 individual portraits appropriated from advertisements collected from Black publications such as Our World and Ebony. Spanning the 1930s through the 1970s, the ads are often for wigs and hair treatments, though some promote cures for various maladies from upset skin to asthma. Working from left to right, Gallagher makes incisions in the portraits and builds a Plasticine prosthetic or wig onto each character.
The book is available in eight different covers.