Ellen Hackl Fagan

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Inviting the accidental while painting, the artist's materials continue to reveal limitless possibilities for improvisation, like jazz music. Influenced by scientific theories-both real and imagined, kitsch, music, decorative art and indigenous textiles, Fagan's abstract paintings and interactive performance build connections between color and surface to sound.

This exploration has led to creating a series of interactive games with viewers, the most recent being The ColorSoundGrammar Game. To play, viewers select, from colored squares, the color(s) that best represent each note in the familiar Do Re Mi musical scale. Fagan painted this visualization using the colors as well as the shapes of the sounds of these notes. These paintings introduce a wonderful completion to this pseudo-scientific investigation and celebrate painting.

Ellen Hackl Fagan is an interdisciplinary abstract painter who believes that synaesthesia can be taught. Through interactive tools and crowd sourcing, Fagan is developing a corresponding language of color to sound.

Ellen Hackl Fagan is the inventor of The Reverse Color Organ and the ColorSoundGrammar Game, two projects that enable viewers to interact aurally with color. In collaboration with cognitive scientist Michael Cole, the Reverse Color Organ is a web app that you can download to your phone, which puts this synaesthetic tool into peoples’ hands to be used not only to expand the language of color, but also as a crowd-sourced musical instrument.

In June of 2014, Ellen Hackl Fagan expanded her independent curatorial practice into a full time business and is now the owner of ODETTA Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

There, she maintains her painting studio and has become an active member of this vibrant arts community. In her curatorial practice, Fagan is focused on bringing together contemporary artists in unexpected pairings. This introduces artists to like-minded practitioners, and fosters collaboration.

ODETTA’s program is focused on Color Theory, Minimalism, Glyphs, Buddha Mind, Fluxus, History, Humor, Psychedelia, Ephemera, Science, Math and Music.

Fagan also creates art collections for the healthcare industry, placing contemporary art in facilities throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts, often introducing a featured local artist in these collections.

Currently, the artist has two solo exhibitions at Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT, Winter 2017, and the Mid-Manhattan Public Library Windows, Spring 2017, NYC. Group exhibitions include the annual Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, and coming up in March, A.I.R., Brooklyn, NYC.

Awards include the RADIUS artist residency through the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, a $2500 grant and exhibition through the Stamford Museum & Nature Center, and is shortlisted for an Art in Public Spaces Percent for Art Commission through the State of Connecticut.
Ellen Hackl Fagan (b. 1960, American)
Creation Year
Acrylic Paint
Movement & Style
Abstract Expressionist
48 in. H x 72 in. W x 0.75 in. D
Dealer Location
Brooklyn, NY
Number of Items
Reference Number
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1stdibs seller since 2015
Located in Brooklyn, NY