Street Talk: Chris Daze Ellis in Dialogue with the Collection
Presented by Addison Gallery of American Art
May 3 - July 31, 2014
A member of the “second generation” of New York graffiti artists, Chris Ellis—best known by his street name, Daze—has been hailed as one of the most important ‘writers’ of his time. Daze began his career in graffiti as a teenager, tagging subway cars alongside Crash, Seen, Lady Pink, and Futura. Turning his focus from trains to canvas in the early 1980s, Daze has been one of the most successful graffiti artists of his generation to transition from street to studio. Using spray paint in combination with the more traditional media of oil and acrylic to capture the energy and essence of the urban scene, Daze’s large-scale paintings are a provocative blend of spontaneity and control, abstraction and representation. This exhibition presents recent works in juxtaposition with a group of paintings, prints, and photographs chosen by the artist from the Addison’s permanent collection. Revealing intriguing and unexpected resonances in artistic approach, theme, and subject matter, this conversation not only sets Daze’s work within the context of American art history, but also provides new insight into some of the museum’s familiar favorites. Chris Daze Ellis is the Edward E. Elson Artist-in-Residence for spring 2014.