Skip to Main Content

Bubbel

© Ellen Gallagher

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Ellen Gallagher

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Ellen Gallagher

American, born 1965

Bubbel, 2001

oil, ink, and paper on linen

support: 120 x 96 inches (304.8 x 243.84 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Sarah Norton Goodyear Fund, 2001

2001:6

More Details

Inscriptions

no inscriptions

Class

Paintings (visual works)
Drawings (visual works)

Work Type

Oil painting (visual work)
Drawing (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

In her multifaceted practice, Ellen Gallagher has merged drawing and painting to create large-scale works that engage the viewer in a visual dialogue about exclusion, race, and stereotypes. Patient looking reveals hidden content and meaning in the minute blue shapes and repetitive linear motifs featured in Bubbel, which the artist named after a type of malware designed to create computer havoc. The work’s geometric and organic forms are actually disembodied lips and eyes that play on images of the inherently derogatory use of blackface by non-black performers in vaudeville minstrel shows. Here, Gallagher pushes back against this historical precedent. The seemingly generative lips break the barrier of the bubble, suggesting that a voice may overcome such obstacles to be heard. Gallagher’s approach to difficult subjects is intentionally subtle, leaving a great deal of room for interpretation.

Label from Drawing: The Beginning of Everything, July 8–October 15, 2017

Back to Top