Ellen Slupe Ellen Slupe's Work

Artist Ellen Slupe

A hallmark of Ellen Slupe's painting is shapes made up of straight crisp lines. She regards this quality as bespeaking good design and well-made craftsmanship. For this predilection she cites her Danish heritage and Danish craftsmanship. Because she spent most of her life in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, its distinctive Quaker ambiance has certainly affected her art. She is therefore satisfied when someone appreciates a painting for its surface qualities: its colors, shapes and textures. Slupe's work is in the category that includes painters like Agnes Martin and Ad Reinhardt. It is essentially geometric abstraction but of a highly personalized sort. Formal qualities are emphasized, but the paintings are animated by ideas, feelings and memories.

William Zimmer, art critic, The New York Times

Straight sided shapes reference human activity in my art. When layered and juxtaposed they represent the many decisions and changes in direction experienced throughout time, whether they be orderly or chaotic, pleasant or strident, or hidden or revealed. Color sets a mood. Composition suggests a narrative. Layers symbolize cumulative time slices. Each layer remains whole, not blending or losing identity, but built upon, becoming porous, revealing glimpses of the past. The artist's role is to take viewers to uncharted imagined places, not to assuage but to inspire, to engage the mind and the senses. As Picasso said ├Čthe purpose of abstraction is to keep the joy of discovery the pleasure of the unexpected.

Ellen Slupe comments about her art.