Casey Kaplan now representing Ella Walker

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Casey Kaplan now representing Ella Walker
Ella Walker, Red Painting, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 82.68 x 55.12 x 7.87” / 210 x 140 x 20cm, Photo: Richard Ivey.

NEW YORK, NY.- Casey Kaplan, New York announced representation of Ella Walker (b. 1993, Manchester, UK). For Frieze London, October 13 – 17, 2021 at Regent’s Park, the gallery will present a solo presentation of paintings by the artist.

Captivated by Italian illuminated manuscripts, Renaissance paintings, along with medieval narratives and symbolism, Ella Walker’s oeuvre transforms art historical iconography to invent theatrical scenes of love, tragedy, and mystery within her alluring unstretched, large format canvases. Combining techniques of painting, drawing, and fresco—incorporating a vast array of mediums including, tempura, gesso, pastel, and ink—Walker creates shallow, “stage-like” depths of field, interspersing flat planes of color that disturb her viewer’s holistic sense of structure and composition.

Transforming traditional scenes and spaces into tableaux suffused with drama, romance, mischief, and playfulness, Walker’s work inhabits the enigmatic architecture of a daydream. For the artist, the ritual of painting and the act of dreaming are inextricably bound—merging to create, in Walker’s own words, a “magic realism.” Her images—lighthearted yet unsettling—decisively position Walker’s contemporary perspective within a medieval world through the inclusion of current fashion, and a vibrant color palette.

The settings for Walker’s fantastical compositions take inspiration from classical ballets and operas, including The Magic Flute. Walker then incorporates invented actors into her compositions from medieval narratives that historically excluded complex female characters.

Walker produces dreamscapes that are often physically and spatially impossible. The resulting paintings contain a multitude of exceptionally thin layers of paint, and washes of pure pigment that are applied gradually to yield ethereal veils of color over underpainted outlines. These imaginary scenes, planted within Walker’s theatrically inclined environments, compel her viewers to imagine a world separate from reality. As the artist states, “I’m drawn to the transformation, the ritual, the ceremony, the party. So, when I’m making a painting, I am thinking about an event, and how I can make a version of this exciting experience.”

Walker trained in painting and printmaking at Glasgow School of Art (Glasgow, UK) and drawing at the Royal Drawing School (London). She currently lives and works in London.

Ella Walker’s first solo gallery exhibition in New York is scheduled for May 2022.

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