Up Close and Personal: Ellen Altfest’s Art of the Senses

Why We Recommend it

New York-born artist Ellen Altfest magnifies minute and inconspicuous details of greenery, fabrics and the male body to create sensuous art.


Green Spot is Ellen Altfest’s (b. 1970) first solo exhibition in Asia. On show are seven of her works, which Altfest painted over the past five years. The exhibition starts with Tree (2013), a ‘plein air’ painting made in the Connecticut woodlands, and ends with Green Spot (2017), a painting of lichen which lends the exhibition its title.

Altfest is lauded for her meticulousness in details that verge on abstraction as she observes her subjects of life and nature—tiny hairs, minuscule spores of moss or woollen strands which are unobservable by the naked eye.

Other featured works include Composition and Abdomen (both 2014–15), which juxtapose folds of fabric against bare skin, echoing the artist’s interest in Japanese shunga woodblock prints where kimono patterns and textiles enhance the sensual nature of the erotica.


When: 11 Jan 2019 - 16 Mar 2019 Where: White Cube, G/F – 50 Connaught Road Central – Central