Clay Ellis RCA : Statement

Clay Ellis’ newest exhibition of paintings presents a vivid and delectable play with colour and form; a quality that over the years has come to define his dynamic painting and sculptural style. The show’s title, Amuse-Bouches & Mintz, alludes to a small culinary offering providing a glimpse into a chef’s “style”, while also making associations with Charles Mintz’s animated shorts of the 1930s. 
 
Though Clay Ellis established his reputation in the 1980s and 1990s with large-scale steel sculpture, by 1998 he had traded his primary medium for materials that suited his interest in producing polychromatic sculpture. These explorations into a diverse range of mediums and processes have created bold and inventive artworks that confound sculptural and illusionistic space. With a unique recurring visual language of visceral protrusions, saturated colour, zany shapes, and dynamic patterning – these works exude confidence.


Born in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada in 1955, Clay Ellis grew up on a cattle ranch. He currently resides in Edmonton, Alberta, where he has maintained a studio since 1981. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions in England, France, Spain, Botswana, the USA, and Canada, and he has created public commissions for the Cities of Vancouver, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, and Edmonton. Ellis’ work can be found in public collections across Canada, as well as internationally with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, Spain; Triangle Trust, New York, USA; and the National Gallery of Botswana. Clay Ellis was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2014. 

 

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