Ellen Gallagher was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1965, and lives and works in New York and Rotterdam, Holland. She attended Oberlin College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gallagher's influences include the paintings of Agnes Martin and the repetitive writings of Gertrude Stein. Some of Gallagher's work involves repetitively modifying advertising found in African American focused publications such as Ebony, Sepia, and Our World. Themes related to race are often evident in Gallagher's work, sometimes using pictographs, symbols, codes and repetitions. Some of her pieces may explicitly reference the issue of race while also having a more subtle undercurrent related to race. Gallagher received the American Academy Award in Art and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship. Solo exhibitions include Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; St. Louis Art Museum; Des Moines Art Center; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.