The Third Stake
July 2, 2016 - August 20, 2016
How much is enough? Spurred by a Tolstoy short story in which the main character perishes from his overweening ambition for more land, The Third Stake continues Ellis’ musings on the necessity, demands and rewards of production; whether the imperatives of his family’s ranching history or his own drive to create art. His vividly coloured and abstracted works in The Third Stake range from the grand scale of The Last Oxbow, a 32 foot long, five panel painting, to an extensive suite of small stainless steel, acrylic, aluminum and urethane sculptures. Both paintings and sculptures radiate a vibrant energy that is underpinned by thought-provoking encounters between shape, pattern, texture, material and colour. The work is at once controlled and complex, both rewarding and deserving repeated, close viewings.
Born and raised on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Ellis currently resides in Edmonton, where he has maintained a studio since 1981. Ellis’ work has been shown in numerous exhibitions in England, France, Spain, Botswana, the USA, and Canada. Recent exhibitions since Eight Miles of Barbed Wire, the 2005 solo exhibition inaugurating the Esplanade Art Gallery, include Art Gallery of Grande Prairie (with accompanying catalogue); Art Gallery of Alberta; The Painting Center, New York; and APT Gallery, London, England. Ellis has completed public art commissions for the City of Vancouver, Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Edmonton, and his work is held in private and public collections including the Art Gallery of Alberta; the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; the Canada Council for the Arts; the Alberta Foundation for the Arts; and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona. Clay Ellis was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2014.