Press & Publications


 
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A Brief History of Polaroids in Art, from Ansel Adams to Andy Warhol (and Beyond)

Scott Indrisek
Artsy.net
2017

Beginning in the late 1940s, the Polaroid Corporation would change the face of contemporary photography, both for everyday consumers and for artists. While instant cameras were originally marketed to families and amateur shutterbugs, the company was also successful in engaging fine artists via their Artist Support Program, which offered creatives like Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol free film and studio time. Those collaborations would lead to decades of fruitful uses (and often misuses) of the developing technology. (more)

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Artist Talk: Ellen Carey
15 June 2017

Opening remarks by Brett Abbott,
Director of Collections and Exhibitions

Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Fort Worth, TX
June 15, 2017

In conjunction with the special exhibition The Polaroid Project, artist Ellen Carey discusses her experimental work with Polaroid from the 1970s to the present. Her lecture addresses a range of her images, including her earliest “selfies” to her breakthrough, abstract Pulls that use the large format Polaroid 20-by-24-inch camera and are included in the exhibition.  (more)

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Woman Crush Wednesday:
Ellen Carey

Hallie Neely
Musée
May, 2017

"I began with black & white photograms, but when I turned to color, with the photogram, I realized light, photography’s indexical, was radically different, the palette electrified the composition, whether it was expressed in muted tones or bolder hues. Color is an artist’s universe and photographic color theory (RGBYMC) photography’s planet.  (more)

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Review: Ellen Carey's photograms turn plain paper into a topographic head trip

Leah Ollman
Los Angeles Times
April 10, 2017

Ellen Carey's new works at M+B deliver generously on optical buzz and conceptual bang. They’re photograms, but they also could be described as performative sculptures enacted in the gestational space of the darkroom. (more)

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Ellen Carey Los Angeles Times

Ellen Carey on Polaroid Process
By John Reuter

John Reuter
20x24 Studio
April, 2017

Artist Ellen Carey discusses her use of Polaroid materials and the 20x24 camera to create abstract process based image

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Ellen Carey

Davida Carta
Underexposed Magazine
April, 2017

In 1979, I moved to NYC, after I received a CAPS grant, began exhibiting right away at PS 1 The Altered Photograph. I had a tiny apartment in Little Italy, later a 500 square foot studio on Mercer Street, across from Donald Judd. The zeitgeist in NYC of the late 1970s and early 80s, I was right in the middle of it! (more)

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Sneak Peek: What to Look for at The Photography Show

Paul Laster
White Hot Magazine
March, 2017

The 37th edition of The Photography Show kicks off this week with more than 115 galleries from around the world offering contemporary, modern and 19th-century photographs, as well as photo-based art, video and new media. Presented at Pier 94 by the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD), from Thursday, March 30 through Sunday, April 2, the Show is the longest running and most respected exposition dedicated to the photographic medium. (more)

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Ellen Carey's Work to Be Featured at One of World's Most Prestigious Photography Events

University of Hartford
U Notes
March 2017

The Photography Show is presenting this year at AIPAD's new location on Pier 24 in NYC and features the work of Ellen Carey, associate professor of photography, in the JHB Gallery at Booth #404 from March 30th-April 2nd. This international photography art fair highlights several hundred photographers and artists from over 100 galleries world-wide with programming and lectures, book signings and special events. 

Ellen Carey will be exhibiting a monumental (8'ft x 8'ft.) photogram-as-grid titled Dings & Shadows with her emphasis on process and experimentation, abstraction and form, through color and light, underscored by photographic theory's RGBYMC palette under her artistic practice Struck by Light. Two new works from her Polaroid practice Photography Degree Zero sees Pull with Rollback & Circle as well as Pull with Mixed Pods. (more)

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Column: Profile
Ellen Carey

Susan Rand Brown
Art New England
March - April 2017

The tall photographer, bundled in a black coat, opened the studio door on an overcast morning in a gritty part of the city and suddenly a kaleidoscopic grid of color and shadow, a swirling jewel-toned river, composed of 16 two-foot sections, lit the air. Dings and Shadows is what Ellen Carey calls this color photogram, soaring eight feet onto a white wall in her Hartford, CT, loft space, a former typewriter factory occupied by artists and entrepreneurs. (more)

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The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology

William A. Ewing , Barbara P. Hitchcock, Deborah G. Douglas , Gary Van Zante, Rebekka Reuter, Christopher Bonanos, Todd Brandow, Peter Buse, Dennis Jelonnek, John Rohrbach
FEP  Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography
2017

Essay by Ellen Carey

Abstraction in photography and lens-based art presents a contradiction in terms; minimalism, meanwhile, presents a further oxymoron. Well developed in the twentieth century in other areas of the art world—abstract expressionism, conceptual art—abstraction and minimalism in lens-based art are only now emerging, even as the second decade of the twenty- rst century begins to draw to a close. It is, then, in the early stages of modern and contemporary art, with their roots in photography, that my work has a context. (more)

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Touring Exhibition Information


Ellen Carey: Alumni Talk

Kansas City Art Institute
2016


The Unbearable Lightness.
The 1980s

Etienne Hatt
ArtPress
November 2016

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In Perfect Harmony

Zahid Sardar
Interiors Digital
October - November 2016

Interior Design: Drake/Anderson

Perhaps the airiest section in the apartment is the master suite in the northeast corner with windows on two sides. In this light-filled white space, the designers added another custom Edward Fields rug with ombre patterns. Kinetic Tizio lamps from Artemide, and Antonio Citterio’s Guscio Alto chair from Flexform flank the bed from B&B Italia. A brightly colored photogram triptych by Ellen Carey hangs on the wall. Here, each piece represents a step in a thoughtful process. "Our client was not driven to finish everything all at once," Drake says. "After all, this is the realization of a long-term dream." (more)

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n e w f l e s h
Artist Talk:
Ellen Carey & Stephen Frailey

Efrem Zelony-Mindell
Rubber Factory
New York, NY
September 2016

n e w f l e s h artist Ellen Carey and DEAR DAVE, Editor-In-Chief Stephen Frailey sat down to discuss fine art photography, practices, and queerness.


Pushing the Outer Limits of Photography

Anna Furman
New York Magazine
July 2016

Curated by Charlotte Cotton, the New York exhibit "Summer Open: Photography Is Magic" features works by 50 artists who are reinventing the genre of photography and exploiting the medium to different creative ends. Consider the shattered, drifting pieces of rock in one photograph, or another eerie image by Ailbhe Greaney, of a woman in floral-printed clothing who seems to melt into the wallpaper behind her. (more)

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Big Nothing

The New Yorker
July 2016

The British photographer Richard Caldicott, best known for his work with abstraction, has rounded up works by six like-minded contemporaries, half of them newcomers. The show borrows its title from a series by Luuk de Haan, ghostly black-and-white pictures of biomorphic white forms, which, like most images here, hover somewhere between present and vanishing. Erin O’Keefe makes constructions of translucent Plexiglas panels, which dissolve into layers of color and light in her photographs. Dizzyingly intricate patterns appear in the work of both Ellen Carey and Gottfried Jager, balancing pleasure and rigor. Caldicott’s curatorial coup is his focus on modest-sized works, a welcome antidote to the recent glut of supersized abstract photography.

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Champions of a Monster Polaroid Yield to the Digital World

Randy Kennedy
New York Times
June 20, 2016

Over the last eight years, as cameras have become smaller and smaller — tiny enough to fit on a pair of glasses or inside a swallowable pill — John Reuter has been working to stave off extinction of one of the largest cameras ever made, so big and irredeemably analog that it feels, he says, “as if we’re pulling oil paintings out of the back of it.” (more)

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These Abstract Photographers Redefine Perception of the Real

Widewalls
2016

What exactly is it that makes abstraction in photography so distinct and alluring? The truth is that abstract photographers can turn anything into a concept, an idea, a metaphysical interpretation of an element of reality. It is their choice of composition, point of view, focus and technical approach, among other things, that makes all the difference, as they transform the world as we know it into an abstract web of forms, lines and colors. (more)

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Artist Bio at Widewalls


Interviews from Yale University Radio WYBCX

Brainard Carey
Yale University Radio
April 2016

Lives of the Most Excellent Artists, Curators, Architects, Critics and more, like Vasari's book updated. The Art World Demystified, Hosted by Brained Carey.

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10 Artworks to Collect at AIPAD

Artsy.net
April 2016

In anticipation of the opening of AIPAD’s 36th edition of The Photography Show at the Park Avenue Armory, Artsy scoured the fair preview with an eye for new and rare works to look out for while navigating the booths of 86 galleries. (more)

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13 Iconic Photographers
On The Self Portrait

Better Photography
March 2016

My self portraits, simultaneously me and not me, are purposely posed as head and shoulders, to camouflage and/or 'expose' my gender, to borrow a photographic term. (more)

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Los Angeles : Ellen Carey,
Self-Portraits Polaroid

L'Oeil De La Photographie
2016

The Los Angeles based gallery M+B presents Ellen Carey: Polaroid 20 x 24 Self-Portraits. This show is the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery and her solo debut in Los Angeles. Ellen Carey (b. 1952) is one of the country’s foremost experimental photographers. Her pioneering work with the large-format Polaroid 20 x 24 camera spans several decades and anticipated major themes in contemporary photography. Carey began working with the camera in New York in 1983, starting with her Self-Portrait series. Her experimentation with abstraction in these images was a precursor to her later, purely abstract Pulls. 

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Ellen Carey

Jonathan Griffin
Frieze Magazine
2015

This aura of mystery is essential to their visual and conceptual power. On the one hand, the Polaroid prints reveal themselves as photographs: their raw, uncropped edges show how their images are fixed in layers of once-wet emulsion. On the other hand, their bold fields of textureless colour and graphic punch render them more akin to collages or screen prints. (more)

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Carey's Work to be Featured at Centre Pompidou in Paris

University of Hartford U Notes
December, 2015

An upcoming group exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France, titled Unbearable Lightness of Being – 1980s, Photography, Film, will feature five of Ellen Carey's large format Polaroid 20 X 24 color images from her Self-Portrait series (1984–1988). (more)

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Inside the Artist's Studio

Joe Fig
Princeton Architectural Press
2015

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Joe Fig is an artist and author known for his works that explore the creative process and the spaces where art is made. His paintings and sculptures are exhibited internationally and can be found in numerous museums and leading private collections. He is represented by Cristin Tierney Gallery in New York. Fig works and lives in Connecticut’s Farmington River Valley. 

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Ellen Carey

Bill Armstrong
Dear Dave, Issue #19
2015

The Polaroid Pull from 1996 is a defining moment and introduced Photography Degree Zero, as the name of my practice; the phrase refers to Writing Degree Zero by Roland Barthes, which offers a critical discourse on the departure from descriptive narrative in French avant-garde literature. In related fashion, my work represents the absence of a picture "sign" found in most photography and instead, consists of an image made without a subject, without any reference to a place, or object. (more)

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The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation

Mary-Kay Lombino and Peter Buse
Prestel
2013

Filled with images from a trove of artists from Ansel Adams to Andy Warhol, this is the first volume to explore the Polaroid camera's indelible influence on the history of photography.  Artist statements from Ellen Carey, Chuck Close, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Bryan Graf, Miranda Lichtenstein, David Levinthal, Joy Neimanas, Lisa Oppenheim, Catherine Opie, John Reuter, William Wegman, and James Welling reveal how Polaroids affected and, in many instances, forever changed the way they captured the world around them.

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Color: American Photography Transformed

John Rohrbach
University of Texas Press
2013

Capturing the world in color was one of photography’s greatest aspirations from the very beginnings of the medium. When color photography became a reality with the introduction of the Autochrome in 1907, prominent photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz were overjoyed. But they quickly came to reject color photography as too aligned with human sight. It took decades for artists to come to understand the creative potential of color, and only in 1976, when John Szarkowski showed William Eggleston’s photographs at the Museum of Modern Art, did the art world embrace color. By accepting color’s flexibility and emotional transcendence, Szarkowski and Eggleston transformed photography, giving the medium equal artistic stature with painting, but also initiating its demise as an independent art.

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The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography

Lyle Rexer
Aperture
2013

From the beginning, abstraction has been intrinsic to photography, and its persistent popularity reveals much about the medium. Now available in an affordable paperback edition, The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography is the first book in English to document this phenomenon and to put it into historical context, while also examining the diverse approaches thriving within contemporary photography.

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'A Democracy of Images'
art review

Michael O'Sullivan
The Washington Post
December, 2013

If there’s a single point to be made — or a single story to be told —by the 113 photographic works in “A Democracy of Images: Photographs From the Smithsonian American Art Museum,” it’s the story of photography itself. The question is, can that story ever be fully told, even in 113,000 photos? (more)

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The SX-70 as Sexy Tech

Richard B. Woodward
Wall Street Journal
2013

Ellen Carey emerges as a photographer who could do many things well with Polaroid. Her series "My Sparkling Self," self-portraits decorated with nail polish, are presented as unassuming, feminist answers to Robert Heinecken's and Jack Butler's sexist tomfoolery with magazine porn, while her "Black Pull With Two Filigrees (Positive)" exploits the taffylike gooiness of the Polaroid chemical package to make a wall-size, gorgeous abstraction. (more)

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Renaissance in an Industrial Shadow

Carol Kino
New York Times
May, 2012

Buffalo's first photography gallery, the Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Arts was founded by the photographer Robert Muffoletto in 1974 – a time when, according to Ellen Carey, there was virtually "no platform to show new work and no place to talk about photography." (more)

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Struck By Light

Artvoice
March, 2012

Photo artist Ellen Carey's new works on display at the Nina Freudenheim gallery consist of exotically colorful photograms–works made directly on photographic paper, without the customary use of camera–wildly abstract and equally colorful Polaroid direct photos, using a huge special-edition Polaroid camera, but without the customary focus on any visible object. (more)

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Man In The Mirror

Krystian von Speidel
Venü Magazine
2011

Man Ray serves a legendary role in the 20th-century avant-garde. One of his artworks has been upended by a recent discovery: a Man Ray Space Writing finding, found by lens-based artist Ellen Carey. (more)

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Photographer Ellen Carey Makes Historical Discovery

Kansas City Art Institute Alumni News
2011

Photographer Ellen Carey ('75 printmaking) makes historical discovery. Ellen Carey is an internationally and nationally recognized lens-based, camera and photographic artist. She recently made a discovery related to the artist Man Ray (1890-1976), an American best known in the art world for his avant-garde photography and named by ARTnews magazine as one of the 25 most influential artists of the 20th century. (more)

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A Fashion Bad Boy Gets Zen

Ray. A. Smith
Wall Street Journal
May, 2009

John Bartlett's West Village townhome reflects his new outlook on life and work (more.)


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The Polaroid Book

Barbara Hitchcock and Steve Crist
Taschen
2008

In existence for over 50 years, the Polaroid Corporation’s photography collection is the greatest collection of Polaroid images in the world. Begun by Polaroid founder Edwin Land and photographer Ansel Adams, the collection now includes images by hundreds of photographers throughout the world and contains important pieces by artists such as David Hockney, Helmut Newton, Jeanloup Sieff, and Robert Rauschenberg. 

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Poetic Injury: The Surrealist Legacy in Postmodern Photography

Vince Aletti
Village Voice
December, 1987

A few of the many sins committed in the glorious name of Surrealism hand on the walls here, but the best work lives up to its billing–or handily transcends it.  Wade through the dreck for Ricardo Block’s wild and witty head shots, Barbara Faucon’s eerie pinhole camera mindscapes, Elliot Schwartz’s weird beauties, and choice items by John Schlesinger, Jimmy De Sana, Ellen Carey, David Freeman, Todd Watts, and Ani Gonzales Rivera. (more)

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Ellen Carey at ICP and Simon Cerigo

Stephen Westfall
Art in America
November, 1987

Ellen Carey’s photographic portraits and figure studies have been associated with Neo-Expressionism, Neo-Geo and appropriation art, among other labeled movements and trends.  They also may incorporate touches of the surreal.  The 10-year survey of her work at the International Center of Photography and an accompanying show of recent photographs and prints at Cerigo underscored Carey’s relationship to prevailing “schools” and her ultimate independence from them. Part of a generation that has elevated photography (and, specifically, manipulated photographs) into the high-art mainstream, Carey is, in this writer’s opinion, a vastly underrated artist. (more)

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Ellen Carey at Art City

Barry Schwabsky
Artscribe
September/October, 1986

Ellen Carey’s photographs participate in an essentially painterly dialogue between representational imagery and decorative pattern.  In the large-format (20” x 24”) unique contact prints made on special equipment at Polaroid’s facilities in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Carey has used double exposures to superimpose head-and-shoulders portraits on repetitive, abstract, often geometrical designs (created through photographed drawing and collage).  (more)

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Art City

Shaun Caley
Flash Art
1986

Ellen Carey’s new works, sponsored by the Polaroid Corporation, have taken on a new technological twist.  Formerly painting over black-and-white photographs of gender-specific scenarios that evoked organic, ritualistic configurations in the over-painting, the new portraits are sleek, androgynous, and superimposed with geometrical patterns that work as a testament to high technology. (more)

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