Associate Professor Ellen Carey received her MFA degree (1976–1978) in Photography from The State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY@Buffalo); minor in art history/museum studies at The Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Her BFA degree (1971–1975) is from The Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) was a printmaking major (lithography); minor in photography/art history. Carey also taught at Bard College, Loughborough University (UK), ICP/NY and Queens College.
Her pictures include several genres (self-portrait), however her experiments on the Polaroid 20 X 24 camera, investigations into abstraction and minimalism, that are striking and well-known. Her iconic Pull (followed by the Rollback) parallels monumental site-specific installations in Polaroid such as Mourning Wall and Pulls XL. Her work introduces new nomenclature and a bold form found in the conical loop of her Pull, new to the medium, known as a parabola; her innovations with color are expanding those parameters. Her twin concepts and artistic practices Photography Degree Zero (Polaroid 1996–2012) and Struck by Light (Photogram 1992–2012) are visual; Pictus & Writ (2009–2012) names her writing practice.
Color Me Real is her essay for Sol LeWitt: 100 Views for his MASS MoCA retrospective, highlighting the Wadsworth Atheneum’s installation Wall Drawing #1131: Whirls and Twirls. Her discovery in a Man Ray photograph Space Writing (1935) finds his “hidden” signature; her essay What’s in a Frame? The ‘Space Writings’ of Man Ray followed. First cited in Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention catalogue (Jewish Museum); it can be found online (www.smithsonian.org); KCAI Alumni News; Man in the Mirror in VENU; her revised essay as At Play with Man Ray in Aperture (Google Man Ray Discovery/Ellen Carey).
Carey’s work has been the subject of forty-six, one-person exhibitions in museums (Wadsworth Atheneum MATRIX#153, ICP/NY); alternative spaces (Hallwalls, Real Art Ways); commercial galleries (Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Jayne Baum); included in hundreds of group exhibitions (Aperture); with reviews/essays/articles (Artforum) and brochures/catalogues/books (Taschen). The recipient of numerous grants (NEA, CAPS); Carey interviewed on TV (Nutmeg); radio (WNPR); video (Aperture); with two documentary videos — Pulls and Mourning Wall—to her credit; she has also lectured widely.
Future solo exhibits include Nina Freudenheim Fine Art (Buffalo); Celeste LeWitt Gallery (UConn); Ibu Gallery (Paris); group exhibitions: The Albright-Knox Art Gallery (AKAG) as Wish You Were Here: The Buffalo Avant-Garde in the 1970s (Longo/Sherman); The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation (Warhol/Samaras) at Francis V. Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College; all 2012–13.