The Work


Patron Magazine

Patron Magazine, April/May 2017
By Peggy Levinson

Dallas Design Center's Culp Associates and George Cameron Nash offer exciting contemporary art by Brad Ellis and Cole Morgan.

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Preston Hollow Advocate Magazine

Preston Hollow’s mad artist: Brad Ellis is taking over the art world, one painting at a time
Preston Hollow Advocate, April 21, 2017
By Elissa Chudwin

Brad Ellis has a knack for the unconventional. After 18 years in advertising for American Airlines, the Preston Hollow neighbor traded his corporate office for a paint-splattered studio in 1997. Ellis has devoted the past 20 years to carving a career as a full-time artist, an ambition many won’t attempt because of its financial instability and competitive nature.

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Parallel Lines at Havu Gallery

Parallel Lines at Havu Gallery Is an Unseasonably Hot Show
Westword, May 31, 2016
By Michael Paglia

You don’t expect to see important art shows unveiled at this time of year — but this spring has defied expectations. There are so many important exhibits in town right now, you’d think we were in the middle of the fall, long recognized as the high season for art not just in the Mile High City, but everywhere.

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Journal Santa Fe

Rhythm in Layers
Journal Santa Fe, April 10, 2009
By Kim Russo

Artist melds paper and encaustic to create vivid patterns. Brad Ellis'paintings at LewAllen Contemporary are formal compositions of pattern, mark and process that many visitors will find attractive.

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Journal Santa Fe

Back & Forth
Journal Santa Fe, April 3, 2009
By Kate McGraw

Brad Ellis could draw better than anyone in his Tulsa, Okla., elementary school by the time he was in the third grade. By the time he was in college, he was drawing illustrations and political cartoons for the newspaper. He assumed as he had at 8 that he had a drawing career ahead of him. Still, he preservered in art classes—it couldn't hurt—at the University of Tulsa, a small liberal arts school with a good reputation. Good thing he did.

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Dallas Observer

Triple Threat
Dallas Observer, Sept 18, 2008
By Merritt Martin

You want to get people interested in the artwork you create? Become a master of difficult mediums. Take painter Brad Ellis. The man works with encaustic for crying out loud.

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Elysium #2

Propitious Pairings: LewAllen Contemporary Finds Artists Who Complement One Another Within A Theme
Journal Santa Fe, November 16, 2007
By Hollis Walker

The folks at LewAllen Contemporary have gotten very good at putting together small group shows that have a cohesive feel to them, shows in which the artists' works interact with each other well. This is one of those exhibits. Steven Klein's glass sculputure, Madeleine Keesing's minimal paintings and Brad Ellis' linear encaustic grids have similarities in rhythm and pattern that hamromonize well.

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Currents #20

Janet Kastner, Joseph Janson
and Brad Ellis.
BRAD ELLIS – CURRENTS at D. Berman Gallery, Austin, TX
Austin Chronicle, January 25, 2005
By Jacqueline May

At first glance, you might not think these three artists' works have that much to do with one another. But with extended looking, a number of commonalities emerge in this interesting exhibit. The collage and encaustic works of Brad Ellis' "Currents" pieces refer, through art history, to the works of Pop artists such as Jasper Johns, but incorporate an Abstract Expressionist element through the use of overall nonreferential calligraphic brushstrokes. These are superimposed on a series of stripes or concentric squares that are alternately opaque and translucent, revealing collaged text. The brushstrokes and the use of text via collage provide a space for dialogue between Ellis' works and Kastner's, although Kastner's works use the text for content whereas Ellis' use it simply for texture. Ellis' use of the grid provides a common point of departure for his work and Joseph Janson's.


Sequoyah #34, Sequoyah #33

BRAD ELLIS - NEW WORK at Mary Bell Gallery, Chicago, IL
Chicago Tribune, April 11, 2003
By Alan G. Artner / Art Critic

A recent book on encaustic painting included work by more than 50 contemporary American artists who specialize in the ancient medium of pigmented wax. Jasper Johns was, of course, the one who inspired a resurgence of the medium in the 1950s, and it found so many adherents in succeeding decades that large survey exhibitions could be mounted at the beginning and end of the 1990s.

Brad Ellis, an abstractionist who has shown primarily in Texas, is one of this new breed of encaustic painters. His recent work at Mary Bell Gallery revels in the romantic lushness of encaustic, exploring both its translucency and transparency.

Most of the paintings on view were, in the artist's words, "inspired by the graphic imagery of language." They take the form of many as many as 154 small squares brought together in grids. Each unit has an irregular cluster of short lines in different colors. The repetition and variation of the clusters give a sense of primitive calligraphy.

Ellis further varies the work by mixing in squares of pure color as well as segments of discarded book pages. These last pieces are the most successful paintings on view precisely because they are the most varied. Elsewhere, the artist's use of the medium has made the work appear to soft-centered, seducing easily and thereby becoming sensuous decoration in a muted abstract expressionist vein. It's soft rock for the eye.


Sequoyah #9

Explore Abstractions, Textures
and Language.
BRAD ELLIS – NEW WORK at Metropolitan Gallery, Austin, TX
Austin American Statesman,
November 17, 2000
By Michael Barnes / Art Critic

Ellis Does Balancing Act

Brad Ellis is all about balance. His 19 artworks at Metropolitan Gallery demonstrate a control of numerous techniques and media, mostly without recognizable subjects. Ellis likes containment, with shapes and textures urged against meshes or overlapping layers. Give him some freedom for example, his splatter-and-drip paintings, and Ellis loses his way.

Sequoyah #7" curls multihued, yarn-like lines within a strict grid to satisfactory effect, but "Sequoyah #9" undercuts his agenda with heavy blocks of color. A series titled "The Soul" centers raised rectangles on vertically arranged boards, improved with acrylics, collage and encaustic. This is Ellis at his most restrained, purified.

Ellis achieves lively variations on creamy and buttery tones, built up like moisture on stone in "White." Yet the painting that held my attention was an untitled acrylic and collage on canvas that threads orange, red, black, and whitish lines over snippets of printed words and patterns. Here we sense the tension in Ellis' struggle to represent both concrete ideas and the inexpressible in his art, all without resorting to the figurative or the explanatory.


Symbolic Cadence #1

D. Berman Gallery, Austin, TX
Artlies magazine, summer 2002
By Mark Smith / Co-founder and
Director Flatbed press, Austin, TX

David Berman has a knack for creating coherent group shows, and this one is no exception. The eight artists in this exhibition all bring to their work a keen intelligence and knowledge of their art historical context. All but one display meticulous attention to detail, fine workmanship, and a sophisticated sense of presentation. And, for those who have followed these artists' work for several years, there are some nice surprises.

The three encaustic paintings by Brad Ellis combine painterliness with the more focused source of Jasper Johns. His reference to the master is an honest one, and it incorporates a parallel love of visual linguistics. In Symbolic Cadence #1, Ellis has painted a grid of 121 targets, which delight the eye with an extravagant variety of reds: cadmium light, cadmium medium, scarlet, crimson. His technique maximizes very well the thick, drippy, and translucent potential of the medium, and his human scale reveals an architect's sensitivity to the human body.


Symbolic Cadence #1

BRAD ELLIS & JIM RINGLEY – NEW WORK at Craighead-Green Gallery, Dallas, TX
THE MET, February 17, 1999
By Annabelle Massey Helber
Art critic

On View

Kenneth Craighead and Steve Green, art enthusiasts and collectors, paired up in 1992 to create a gallery bent on discovering and displaying new Texas and regional artists. There's a certain element of unpredictability involved in introducing new talent and Craighead-Green Gallery thrives on that adrenaline. With so much energy, color, and style in the gallery's current show, it's hard to believe that only two artists are involved.

Abstract painter and Dallas native Brad Ellis is showcased at Craighead-Green this month with Colorado postmodern pop artist Jim Ringley. Ellis' work breaks easily into two unique groups. First there are his large abstracts, made with a variety of materials including collage, wax, and modeling paste on canvas. In The Fortune Teller, he links four canvas panels to form united images of glowing gold, bronze, and brown filament shapes that seem to form question marks. His second group of work has a more organic look and is done on a much smaller scale. Ellis' flat, glossy surfaces create a different effect. "The image is captured within the piece, giving it a sense of being suspended in a unique sense of reality," he says