Anne Neely: Waterlines

Anne Neely, Surprise

Surprise, 2009
oil on linen
45" x 50"
Courtesy of the Artist and
Lohin Geduld Gallery, New York, NY

March 17, 2010 - May 30, 2010

Opening Reception Saturday, March 20, 6 pm - 8 pm
Gallery Talk Sunday, May 9, 2010, 3 pm

Artist Statement

Although my work has always had a specific context, the act of painting most compels me. Paint leads me essentially and gives me the opportunity to reinvent landscape, the natural world, and myself. Above all paint can invent a space through the exploration of uncharted territories and imagined landscapes. Painting ignites and empowers my awareness of our diminishing natural resources and, within that vast arena, I have chosen to focus on water above and below the earth's and our own skin. Many of these works were created in Maine and pay homage to known water sources such as oceans, aquifers and lakes. I try equally to express the lost stillness of place.

I recall the sensibilities of other artists driven throughout history who have felt the visceral connection to nature in similar ways: the silence and grandeur in nature of Friedrich, Courbet, and Turner; the physically and passionately built quality of Cezanne's paintings; or, in the contemporary world, the overarching energy and movement in the work of Joan Mitchell, Cecily Brown and Anselm Kiefer.

I construct a painting like a poem. I find the rhythm and essential movement by beginning organically to build a structure through a series of marks and colors that become more connected to one another and to memory as the painting develops. I work in layers, washes, heavy gestural strokes, sweeps of the palette knife, and scratches, dots, and rectangles. A new stroke is like discovering a new word. The more I work on a painting the more physical I become until it feels like there is little distinction between where I leave off and where the painting begins. Although painting is personal, these paintings also address the ecological and ultimately cultural issues of our time as we fight over, transport, over use, pollute, dry up and neglect water.


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