Ellen Hackl Fagan

Ellen Hackl Fagan builds connections between color and sound using installations, an interactive web app, and collaborative projects that combine color-saturated paintings with sound.  Balanced between randomness and intention, like jazz music, Fagan’s art continues to reveal limitless possibilities for improvisation.

Echoing life’s chaotic beauty, her color-saturated paintings are sourced in pop music, Rimbault, Jungian psychology, the theory of correspondences, minimalism and decorative art.

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. The Reverse Color Organ is a web app, downloadable to a smart phone, thus placing 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. Fagan exhibits her work extensively throughout New England and New York City. 

Books she continues to reference in her work are: James Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake, Ellen Dissanayake’s Homo Aestheticus, and Ogham, An Irish Alphabet which tap into her deep interest in prehistoric art and earthworks.

In 2014 she expanded her independent curatorial practice into a full time business and is now the owner of ODETTA Gallery, based in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut.  Since that time Fagan has created and produced over 70 exhibitions of contemporary art, working with over 150 artists, in addition to maintaining her studio practice.

As director of ODETTA, she is exploring new platforms in gallery practice and community building, both virtually and in real life. During the pandemic, she has opened ODETTA Digital on the SHIM Art Network platform, and is their Director of Sales, bringing together groups of artists to develop their own exhibition opportunities and curatorial skills. She also has opened ODETTA Petite, a replica of the ODETTA Bushwick gallery space. Here she exhibits works as model scaled proposals for monumental works of art, to be purchased as commissioned works.

ODETTA has been critically reviewed in numerous notable publications, both in print and in blogs, like The New Criterion, Artillery Magazine, and Hyperallergic.

Public commissions include Coach’s flagship store on 5th Avenue and David Yurman Jewelers’ showroom in Tribeca. ODETTA’s exhibitions have traveled to Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT, The Flux Art Fair at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, NYC, Bronx Art Space, NYC, and the Morris Museum of Art, Morristown, NJ.

Ellen Hackl Fagan, installation view Helpless 2020 Five Points Torrington CT.
Ellen Hackl Fagan, SeekingtheSoundofCobaltBlue, Bounty, 2020, inkpigment acrylic on readymade object, 2020, 12-x-12-inches, Private Collection.
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  1. […] Ellen Hackl Fagan spoke to us from Greenwich, Connecticut. Previously, she had a gallery in Bushwick which she moved along with her studio space in 2019. She adapted her garage into a studio space and, as soon as the weather warmed up, began painting for a show in Torrington, Connecticut. In addition to her own work, she was doing a great deal of collaborative work for various kinds of mail art projects. Over the summer, she closed an exhibition called London Calling Collective which had run since November 2019 as the inaugural show at Ursa Gallery in Bridgeport with a group of women she had previously traveled with. Aside from her own art practice, she runs ODETTA Gallery. To hear more about the gallery, her mail art project and more, listen to the complete interview. […]

    • Fascinating processes. Ambitious agenda. She has accomplished so much. Thanks for the interview. Come down to Fort Myers, FL We have an Indian burial mound. I would love to show you around. https://moundhouse.org/events/shell-mound-tour/.

      As far back as 12000 BC, small nomadic tribes began migrating from the frozen tundra of the northern continents to the warmer weather of what we now call Florida. At the time, the state was twice as large as is it today, but increasing temperatures caused glaciers to melt around 7500 BC, which caused the sea levels to rise, eventually leaving much of Florida under the ocean. Though the native settlers struggled during these tumultuous times, they managed to establish the first permanent coastal villages and mound buildings on what eventually evolved into Estero Island.

      Known as “The Shell Indians,” the Calusa forged tools and weapons from scavenged shells, and then discarded them after their purpose was served. These shells amassed themselves into the 2,000-year-old Calusa Indian Shell Mound that Mound House is built on today. While societal progress, advancements in construction, and the birth of the United States have greatly transformed this land over the centuries, the Mound House museum will take you on a journey to the earliest documented days of this land, showcasing how the Calusa lived here, and how they — along with a sprawling cast of foreign settlers — transformed Estero Island into what it is today.