Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to present Revising Making-Nice, Marcelyn McNeil’s second solo show at the gallery.
Marcelyn McNeil’s latest large-scale abstract oil paintings react against the tendency to overly manicure work. While her strong sense of color remains, McNeil strives to loosen up and broaden her vocabulary. She combines poured paint, fades, and drawing to create new relationships between softer forms.
High-pitched color amplifies the energy that has always existed in McNeil’s work, but now there is a greater sense of playfulness, sensuality, and risk. The interplay of competing elements activates the paintings so that they nearly feel animated. They are exuberant yet quietly confident, fueled by off-kilter humor and anthropomorphism.
Yet McNeil is steadfastly a modernist in that she remains faithful to the flatness of the surface, eschewing modeling or linear perspective to create the illusion of depth through color and shape. Formalism moves freely in and out of her work. Her compositions appear both carefully considered and the result of intuitive exploration.