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b. 1988, USA

Alannah Farrell Biography

Alannah Farrell is a figurative painter who creates intimate portraits of individuals in moments of quiet reflection.

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Early Life and Influences

Farrell was born in Kingston, New York and spent their childhood in the Catskills—a densely forested region in upstate New York. Farrell's parents were both artists and introduced them to visual art at a young age.

Farrell moved to New York City in 2006, where they studied photography at The Cooper Union. This photographic training influenced their stark treatment of light and shadow in their paintings—so too did the diffuse light and dramatic natural landscape of the Catskills.

After completing their BFA in 2011, Farrell worked several odd jobs, including modelling. In 2019, Farrell modelled for painter Alix Bailey, who encouraged Farrell to exhibit their paintings. Shortly thereafter, Farrell held their first show at the Painting Center (2019), followed by several exhibitions with Thierry Goldberg Gallery and multiple online shows.

Paintings

Farrell creates ethereal, dimly lit paintings of their friends and members of New York's creative community, many of whom identify as LGBTQIA+. Typically depicting their subjects at dawn or dusk in domestic settings, Farrell uses colour, light, and shadow to create contemplative, dream-like moods.

Farrell's subject matter explores the various anxieties, identities, and ideas of their peers. In particular, their paintings examine job insecurity, the impact of social media, mental health, and an expanding discourse surrounding race, gender, and identity.

Using intimate interior spaces as sites of security and vulnerability, Farrell's paintings often allude to the personal narratives of their subjects. Sanctuary (Madgalena) (2019), which featured in Farrell's 2019 show at the Painting Center, depicts a half-dressed woman reclining across a bed in a small room. The woman is Farrell's friend, a child of immigrant parents who has been financially independent from a young age. With her eyes downcast, she is at once at home in her space and subject to the economic constraints that confine her.

Many of Farrell's paintings also explore the jobs which members of their community work to support their creative practices. Backpage / Black Stocking (2017) depicts another friend of Farrell's—a visual artist and professional dominatrix. She is seated in an imagined motel room and fully nude, save for a single black stocking she rolls up her leg. Rendered en grisaille, the preparatory greyscale method of classical painting, she appears both reflective and empowered.

Gender Identity

In addition to representing the strength of their peers, Farrell's paintings also examine personal and collective experiences of gender identity and queer life. In Kay (Power) (2021), a seated person covered chest to arms in tattoos holds the viewer firmly in their gaze, while touching a jacket with the insignia 'Gay Power' draped over their knee.

Self-portraits

Farrell's 2020 online solo show at Thierry Goldberg Gallery, A Night in June (2020), marked a turn to greater self-reference. Investigating their own experiences with gender dysmorphia, the exhibition included a number of self-portraits, such as After Otto (2019). In 2021, Farrell's solo show History of Violence opened at Anat Ebgi Gallery in Los Angeles. The show continues Farrell's increased exploration of self-portraiture, including a representation of the artist defiantly facing the viewer with a bloodied nose in the exhibition's titular painting.

Farrell accepted representation with Harper's Galllery in New York in 2020. Their debut solo show with the gallery is planned for 2022.

Farrell lives and works in New York City.

Exhibitions

Alannah Farrell's solo exhibitions include History of Violence, Anat Ebgi Gallery, Los Angeles; A Night in June, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York; World Without Rooms, The Painting Center, New York (2019); and After All... Do You Remember? Ghost Gallery, New York.

Their group exhibitions include Good Company, Anat Ebgi Gallery, Los Angeles (2021); 36 Paintings, Harper's, New York (2021); Ensemble: Together Again, The Painting Center, New York (2020); Paraíso Perdido, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York (2019); POSTURE: A Group Exhibition of Queer Artists, City Bird Gallery, New York (2015).

Their work has also featured in various art fairs, such as EXPO Chicago and Frieze New York.

Artist's Website and Instagram

Alannah Farrell's website can be found here, and their Instagram account can be found here.

Alena Kavka | Ocula | 2021

Exhibition view: Group Exhibition, It's Much Louder Than Before, Anat Ebgi, Culver City, 2660 S La Cienega Blvd (14 August–18 September 2021). Courtesy Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles. 

Alannah Farrell Featured Artworks

View All (9)
2nd Avenue Fantasy (The Cock) by Alannah Farrell contemporary artwork
Alannah Farrell2nd Avenue Fantasy (The Cock), 2021Acrylic, flashe, and oil on canvas
40 x 16 inches
Anat Ebgi Contact Gallery
History of Violence by Alannah Farrell contemporary artwork
Alannah FarrellHistory of Violence, 2021Oil and flashe on canvas
182.9 x 91.4 cm
Anat Ebgi Contact Gallery
Kay (Power) by Alannah Farrell contemporary artwork
Alannah FarrellKay (Power), 2021Oil and flashe on canvas
121.9 x 91.4 cm
Anat Ebgi Contact Gallery
Downtown by Alannah Farrell contemporary artwork
Alannah FarrellDowntown, 2021Oil and acrylic on canvas
198.1 x 127 cm
Anat Ebgi Contact Gallery
Coral and Cam by Alannah Farrell contemporary artwork
Alannah FarrellCoral and Cam, 2021Oil, latex, and flashe on canvas
101.6 x 76.2 cm
Anat Ebgi Contact Gallery
Angel (After Bernini) by Alannah Farrell contemporary artwork
Alannah FarrellAngel (After Bernini), 2021Oil and flashe on canvas
152.4 x 91.4 cm
Anat Ebgi Contact Gallery
A Night In June by Alannah Farrell contemporary artwork
Alannah FarrellA Night In June, 2020Oil and latex on canvas
182.9 x 100.3 cm
Anat Ebgi Contact Gallery
Chinatown Smoke Break by Alannah Farrell contemporary artwork
Alannah FarrellChinatown Smoke Break, 2021Oil acrylic and flashe on canvas
61 x 45.7 cm
Anat Ebgi Contact Gallery

Alannah Farrell Current & Recent Exhibitions

Alannah Farrell Represented By

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