Lyle O. Reitzel Contemporary Gallery, founded in 1995, presents in their Lower East Side space a solo show by Scott Daniel Ellison (b.1971) titled “Woodland Fables”. The opening will take place on Thursday, October 25th at Lyle O. Reitzel Gallery’s Lower East Side location.
Ever since Scott Daniel Ellison was young, he has had a fascination with the unknown. Growing up in rural New York State, he would often search the meadows, farms, and ponds behind his house looking for animals, bones, ruins, and anything else that might excite — both real and imagined. He is drawn to awkward, uncomfortable images, and cites horror, heavy metal, and wildlife imagery as sources of inspiration for his work.
Ellison’s work is characterized by the abstract and grim characters he places against minimal backgrounds or dark, natural settings. Familiar elements within the works create a bridge between the natural world and the alternative reality Ellison crafts. Smiling monsters and eccentric props lend a humorous tone to some of his works, resulting in a cohesively creepy and playful artistic expression. The narratives Ellison creates illustrate a unique and often frightening wonderland full of otherworldly creatures. Scarecrows and creatures both real and imagined are set in landscapes that may bring to mind an old horror film set left abandoned, or a place that exists only when you walk to the end of a long dirt road. In his first published monograph titled Iowa, Ohio, Ellison creates a storybook world in which the viewer is placed in uncertain and precarious situations. The darkly humorous works are often sparse and enigmatic, suggesting but never completely offering extended narratives.
Scott Daniel Ellison was trained in photography prior to finding more creative freedom in painting. His paintings have been shown extensively in New York City as well as abroad. Most recently his work has been featured in Dazed and Confused Magazine and the renowned art journal Esopus . Ellison has also been featured in a solo show at Pulse, Miami in 2010 and was awarded a fellowship in painting from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2012. H e has exhibited with ClampArt in New York and had a solo exhibition at Matteawan Gallery in 2014, as well as internationally in Stockholm, London and Venice. He has also exhibited at Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX; University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor, ME; the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL; Monya Rowe Gallery, NY, NY; Galleria Traghetto, Venice, Italy; and Carl Berg Projects, West Hollywood, CA. His first monograph Iowa,Ohio, was published by Schilt Books in 2014, and a second book titled Witch Hazel , was published in 2016 by ClampArt. Ellison received a BFA and an MFA from SUNY Purchase, Purchase, NY.