News 2019


Donald Ellis Gallery is pleased to announce its participation in the third edition of TEFAF NEW YORK SPRING to be held at the Park Avenue Armory, New York, from May 3-7, 2019 with a VIP preview day on May 2nd.

At TEFAF NEW YORK SPRING 2019 the gallery will present a highly selected and extraordinarily important group of objects from various indigenous cultures of North America - several of which are considered the finest extant examples of their type. Highlights include the Donati Studio mask, widely perceived to be the most important Yup’ik mask in private hands that brought a world record price when last sold a decade ago. The mask formerly belonged to the Surrealist painter Enrico Donati whom among other Surrealist artists was not only fascinated with but also avidly collected Yup’ik masks. Additionally, the gallery will exhibit an exceptionally rare and important Oystercather shamans rattle attributed the 18th century Tlingit carver Kadjisdu.acxh II, who has been identified as the most important historical Indigenous artist on the Pacific Northwest Coast. Further highlights include an exquisitely rendered portrait mask of Djilakons, the legendary Haida ancestress, a monumental Tlingit Model Totem Pole and a remarkable group of prehistoric Inuit ivories from Alaska, attesting to a two thousand year old tradition of artful carving in the Bering Sea region.

​TEFAF NEW YORK SPRING 2019 will take place at the Park Avenue Armory, New York between May 3-7, 2019

Preview Opening: Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

For more information about the fair please visit:


Donald Ellis Gallery is pleased to announce its participation, for the third time, in Frieze New York to be held in Randall’s Island Park, New York, from May 2-5, 2019 with VIP previews on May 1st and May 2nd.

The gallery will present a curated exhibition of prominent historical works of art by Native American artists from various cultures and geographic regions. 

Among the highlights will be a painted “War Record,” attributed to the Blackfoot warrior Big Spring. This panel is one of a number of large canvas works painted by elderly Blackfoot warriors for display in three hotels built by the Great Northern Railway in Glacier National Park, Montana, to promote tourist travel to the West in the early 20th century. The canvas summarizes the major life events of the warrior, Big Spring, including his most notorious horse raids, fights with the Crow, significant hunting moments and family relations. Other highlights will include a rare early pictorial hide featuring stylized bear paws that was likely associated with the bear cult prevalent among Plains peoples during the 19th century as well as a pictorial muslin depicting a procession of Sioux warriors from the former collection of the late actor, Vincent Price.

The exhibition will feature a significant group of works on paper ranging from Plains Indian Ledger Drawings from the late 19th and the early 20th century, to drawings by some of the most remarkable Inuit artists of the 20th century. We will present a selection of drawings by Inuit artist, Kovinatilliak Parr (1893 - 1969) who lived a traditional nomadic hunting life before settling down in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, and starting to draw in 1961 - at the age of 68 - to create a body of approximately 2000 works in the last eight years of his life. His reductive and direct style shows only the most essential features of humans and animals, depicting actual hunting events from his personal memories. Consistent with previous years, we will exhibit a highly selective group of rare late 19th century and early 20th century Plains Indian Ledger Drawings. Their presentation is not only a response to but also evidence of the grow- ing interest from the field of contemporary and modern art in Plains Indian drawings, this little known but highly important aspect of American art history.

FRIEZE NEW YORK 2019 will take place at Randall’s Island Park, New York May 2-5, 2019

Preview Openings: Wednesday, May 1st and Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

For more information please visit:


"These are more Surreal than we are!”, an indignant André Breton apparently exclaimed when he first encountered a Yup’ik ceremonial mask in New York. It is little wonder that the Surrealists were fascinated by these coloured, strikingly adorned artefacts since they are among the most inventive, expressive and fantastical of all tribal arts."

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Art Newspaper Interview

Donald Ellis was featured in a full page interview in the March 2016 issue of the Art Newspaper.

Click here to read the interview.