On 7 September 2018, Mary Boone Gallery will open at its Chelsea location Tangled on the Serpent Chair, an exhibition curated by Piper Marshall of new paintings by ELIZABETH NEEL. This survey of new work demonstrates the range of the artist’s painting, from her poured canvases to her more muscular, impasto works of this year. It is the first full-scale New York presentation since 2013 of work by this contemporary artist.
Washes of transparent and translucent color, a substructure of shape, and a map-like delimitation of space informs the artist’s present work. In 2015 the artist began using acrylic paint which has become her principal medium. Working large canvases on the floor and the wall, she alternates methods: pouring as well as swiping, saturating the surface, using brushes and rollers, and folding the canvas to print near-symmetrical, Rorschach-like forms. The artist manipulates the flows of paint, responding to marks made by gravity and chance. Neel refers to this process as a time-based choreography akin to “calisthenic activity.” The palette ranges from browns, which are thick, to thin, watery colored hues.
Neel’s most recent paintings are explicitly spatial. In her work, Neel is mainly concerned with what she terms architectural space: that is, how an all-over surface aggregates texture and plains and passages of color. These works stage a tension between doubled, symmetrical stains and geometric, flat marks. The contrast effects a physical pull which extends the paintings into the gallery space and also encourages readers to project onto the image as a plan, an architecture of both built geometric space and the bilateral symmetries of bodily organic forms.
All of Neel’s paintings reference places of personal and artistic interest. Some refer to experiences of the environment, others to literary works, objects, or historical forms of representation. The composition of these works assists in reading them as visual fields. For the artist, the painting elicits attention and tacitly disciplines the perception of viewers.
The exhibition, at 541 West 24 Street, is on view through 27 October 2018. For further information, please contact Ron Warren at the Gallery, or visit our website www.maryboonegallery.com.