October 5, 2002

Sharon Ellis, San Jose Museum of Art, California - Evocations

Evocations: Sharon Ellis, 1991 - 2001 
San Jose Museum of Art
October 11, 2002 – February 16, 2003 

The San Jose Museum of Art will present Evocations: Sharon Ellis, 1991 – 2001, the first in-depth study of the work of noted Los Angeles-based painter SHARON ELLIS. The exhibition was organized by the Long Beach Museum of Art and is completing its national tour at SJMA. 

Sharon Ellis, best known for her modestly-sized paintings of expansive, visionary landscapes, juxtaposes epic subjects such as brilliant night skies, vast roiling oceans, and distant solar systems with intricately depicted details of nature — a tangle of blossoms, a single twig, or silhouetted tree branches. These subjects from nature, while painstakingly rendered, are significantly altered through the artist’s highly inventive imagination. Ellis completes only three to four of her richly detailed, vibrantly colored canvases in a year. 

In the early 1990s, influenced by Romantic and Symbolist painting, theory and poetry, Sharon Ellis produced several paintings of gardens — Garden (1993), Sunken Garden (1993), and Cathedral of Dandelions (1993) — which portray aspects of nature in eerie, lush detail that transforms the imagery into highly fanciful, imaginary outdoor spaces. While referring outwardly to the world of nature, these paintings are also hauntingly anthropomorphic in their references to internal organs and parts of the human body. 

Since 1995, Sharon Ellis has explored temporal themes through several series of time-based subjects. Among these are The Four Seasons (Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring) and The Times of the Day (Dawn, Morning, Midday, Afternoon, Dusk, Night). 

In her most recent work, Sharon Ellis’ landscape subjects are influenced by her interest in nineteenth- and twentieth-century poetry, particularly Brönte, Wordsworth, and Hart Crane. 

Born in Great Lakes, Illinois in 1955, Sharon Ellis received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Irvine in 1978 and a Master of Fine Arts from Mills College in 1984. She has lived in Los Angeles since 1989. In 1996, Sharon Ellis had her first museum exhibition, The Four Seasons, at the Long Beach Museum of Art. Her work was also featured at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Departures: Eleven Artists at the Getty in 2000. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a four-color, fully illustrated catalogue with essays by noted art critic Dave Hickey and Sue Spaid, curator at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio. 

110 S. Market Street, San Jose, California 95113

Updated 27.06.2019