Frieze – May 2021

Darrel Ellis (II), 1981

How Darrel Ellis Reframed the Family Photograph

At Candice Madey, a presentation of the late artist early works, drawings, paintings and photographs reveals Ellis’s meticulous process of reconceptualising his family archive

Drawing from his father’s archive of Black life in postwar New York, as well as later images of himself taken by gay white photographers, including Peter Hujar and Robert Mapplethorpe as his source material, Ellis produced a massive body of weird and warped monochromatic portraits and self-portraits, a terrific sliver of which are on view in ‘A Composite Being’ at Candice Madey gallery in New York.