Carmen Neely titled the eight paintings in her first New York solo show after phrases she had recently heard (“Just gotta caress it a little,” “Don’t just hope it!,” “A good fortune can ruin your life”), often in her own conversations. In some instances, she appended the phrases to the paintings mid-production, but in most she used them as points of departure. This use of dialogue from her own life lent the work an intimacy that could have fostered an impression of navel-gazing, particularly given the inward qualities already associated with gestural abstraction, her formal language of choice. Instead, the works are relatable and even openly invite viewers to project their own interpretations.
Neely, who received her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro last year, demonstrates a facility with many types o...Read more