Publishing as Legacy Work, with Drew Sawyer and Silas Munro on Darrel Ellis
Printed Matter’s 2022 NY Art Book Fair

This conversation with curator Drew Sawyer (Brooklyn Museum) and publication designer Silas Munro (Polymode) will launch a recent monograph by the New York–based mixed-media artist Darrel Ellis (1958–1992). Known for his experimental approach to painting and photography, Ellis explored the psychic terrain between surface, memory, and lyric self-representation. Working in part from his late father’s photographs of Black family life in the 1950s, Ellis projected, deconstructed, and re-imaged his family history, creating uncanny portraits marked by voids and warps. Ellis was on the cusp of major recognition when his life was cut short by AIDS in 1992, at the age of 33. Sawyer and Munro will discuss Ellis’s unique and prescient artwork and reflect on the role of publishing in focusing renewed attention on artistic legacies, in particular what it means to create the first in-depth monograph and primary published resource for an artist and their legacy. Presented by Visual Aids.