February 17 – May 12, 2024
Over the course of his career, Darrel Ellis developed a distinct studio practice that merged the formal vocabularies of drawing, photography, painting, and printmaking to redefine Black male identity and family within the constructs of art history and mainstream culture.
Ellis was influential during his life, inspiring the work of other artists and participating in more than 20 group exhibitions in New York and Europe before his career was cut short in 1992 by his death at the age of 33 due to an AIDS-related illness. To produce his groundbreaking images, Ellis shifted across a wide range of media, employing painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, and collage to generate endless variations on a single image. This often involved projecting photographic negatives onto sculpted reliefs and re-photographing the results.
This exhibition examines the full arc of Ellis’s career through approximately 60 works on paper, including a historically significant body of work that captures the experiences and public perceptions of Black men living with the AIDS virus, as well as an expansive group of portraits of his family members that offer a record of Black domestic life.
Darrel Ellis: Regeneration is co-organized by the Baltimore Museum of Art and The Bronx Museum of the Arts.
Image above: Darrel Ellis. Self‑portrait based on Peter Hujar photograph. c. 1990.
The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchase with exchange funds from the Pearlstone Family Fund and partial gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., BMA 2019.159. © Darrel Ellis Estate and Candice Madey, New York
Dr. Suzanne R. Thorpe and Dr. John W. Baynes
Barbara B. Boyd; Hotel Trundle