Ellen Abraham

Contact Information


Phone: 610-668-2173


Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.



Mixed Media

Artist's Statement

Comics were the mainstay of my childhood. I incessantly drew and copied from the pages of my comic books and Mad Magazines until I became an adolescent and “graduated” to political cartoons. After high school I attended the University of the Arts for one year, but my interest in history and politics led me to leave art school and to teach social studies for a number of years. I eventually returned to a career in art. Initially, I spent many years trying to reign in my propensity for distortion, caricature, stylization and expressive color. My goal was to paint realistically. Then I took an abstract painting class and everything coalesced into the paintings that I do today.

My painting is a hybrid of the figurative and the abstract. The satire, humor and cartoon imagery of my youthful artwork began to evolve as I grew more familiar with Cubism, German Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism and American Social Realism. Although I now work in front of a canvas instead of a classroom, I still am very much concerned with “social studies” as a subject for my art. I feel a great affinity with artists such as George Gross, Otto Dix and Archibald Motley who also painted scenes of daily life in their own tumultuous time. The work of Red Grooms has also had an important influence on my art.

I hope my ability to conjure up the absurd, the ridiculous and the comic in my paintings will induce people to laugh at the image, and also think about the content which usually deals with the perversity of the human condition. My work is a synthesis of humor and fine art. I am quite serious about being silly. My goal is to create good art that is sown from the depths of comic outrageousness, satirical observation and mild misanthropy. If Matisse had “the sun in his belly,” I sometimes feel I have a banana peel permanently attached to my shoe. Matisse said that he wanted his paintings to become “a comfortable easy armchair for the viewer.” I want my work to be the whoopee cushion under that armchair.

Selected Exhibitions

Out of the Corner of My Eye, Artforms Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Frazzeled and Dazzled, Appel Gallery, Cherry Hill, NJ

Head to Toe, Philly Fringe Festival, Okooko Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Connections, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

Diverse Horizons, ARTsisters at Widener University Art Gallery, Chester, PA

In Depth: Printmaking and Photography, Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA

Ten Mitzvot, Old City Jewish Art Center, Philadelphia, PA

Irreverence, The Caranao Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

ARTsisters Show, Art Trust, West Chester, PA
Juried Exhibition

ARTsisters Show,Tyme Gallery, Havertown, PA

The World of the Professional Artist 2, Montgomery Guild of Professional Artists, Conshohocken, PA
Juried Exhibition

The Personal Picture Plane, The Art Gallery, Gloucester County College, Sewell, NJ

The Personal Picture Plane, Stratasphere Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Art on the Town, ARTsisters at Wilmington Arts Commission, Wilmington, DE

Artforms at Qubix, Qbix Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

25 Kids, 25 Artists, Come See What Happens, Artforms Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Our Past Through the Present: 10th Anniversary Celebration, Artforms Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Atlantic City Arts Commission, Martin Wilson, Jr. Center for the Arts, Atlantic City, NJ

The Studio 2003, Kelly Writers House Art Gallery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

First Blood, Ericson Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

62nd Annual Members’ Exhibition, Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
Curator: Doris Staffel
Creative Endeavors Gift Certificate Award

101st Annual Juried Members Exhibition, The Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Yellow Springs, PA

Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Emerging MFA Students, The White Box Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

1995 – 1997
Monoprints, Sales and Rental Gallery, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA

Main Line Arts Festival, Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
Juried Exhibition

Selected Bibliography

“A Scene from the Dazzled,” Courier Post, Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lamberg, Eric, “Art Group Provides Solidarity for its Sisters,” My Community Trend, January 28, 2009

Petinelli, Dara, “On Exhibit,” More Magazine, November 2008

Wetstein, Jonathan, “Head Shots at the Philly Fringe Festival,” uwishunu, September 4, 2008

Terruso, Julia, “Fest Bets,” Philadelphia City Paper, August 27, 2008

Donohoe, Victoria, “The Tyme Gallery,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 20, 2008

“Best Bets,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, July 8, 2007

“GCC Exhibit to Showcase 7 Contemporary Artists,” Gloucester County Times, Sunday, March 11, 2007

Donohoe, Victoria, “Looks Like History But It’s Art,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 13, 2006

“Happenings,” Art Matters, October 2005

Darr, Jennifer, “PAFA’s Student Exhibition,” Philadelphia City Paper, May 8 – 14, 1998

Professional Affiliations

Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Philadelphia, PA


Child Advocates Annual Benefit Reception and Silent Auction, Wanamaker Crystal Tea Room, Philadelphia, PA

Silent Auction and Gala, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Fight Benefit for HIV/AIDS Services, Philadelphia, PA

Art + Furniture Experience II, benefit for MANNA and InLiquid, Dane Decor, Philadelphia, PA

Art for the Cash Poor 7, Crane Arts Building, Philadelphia, PA


Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Villanova University, Villanova, PA

Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
BS, cum laude

Continuing Education
1998 – 2004
Osvaldo Romberg’s Atelier, Philadelphia, PA