Marcelyn McNeil’s studio practice revolves around conflation and the premise that opposites attract. This allows for the creation of dynamic relationships between the colors and forms in McNeil’s picture plane. With both the paintings and works on paper, the artist creates each piece individually and does not work serially. This approach allows for each work to be a complete exploration of the tensions created by considered reactions to each color and compositional decision. In this way, each piece has a strong identity and oscillates between being refined and slightly awkward. As responses lead to decision making, the flatness of the picture plane remains paramount, all the while alluding to something bodily and/or structural in the composition.
As the artist states, “The Italian word in art, Pentimento, goes a long way to describe how I build a painting and the visual experience of seeing my work in person. Traces, lines and seams are evident and serve as a type of web or recorded history of a paintings development. Describing provocative shapes that allude to 'objectness or bodyness' and appear solid, built and structured are important to me.” These relationships create tension of the ilk that vibrate with excitement and off kilter humor.
Marcelyn McNeil earned an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois, Chicago and a B.F.A. from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. She lives and works in Houston, Texas. In January 2016, McNeil was awarded a residency at 100 West Corsicana in Corsicana, Texas and in September 2016 will begin a fully funded residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. Her paintings were represented in both the 2011 and the 2013 Texas Biennial, an independent survey of contemporary Texas art curated by Virginia Rutledge. In 2012, McNeil was awarded a McDowell Colony Fellowship and in 2013 was a finalist for the Richard Diebenkorn Fellowship. Recent exhibitions include: Denny Gallery, NY, NY (2015); Wilding Cran Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2015); Central Features, Albuquerque, NM (2015) and Kathryn Markel, NY, NY (2015). This will be the third solo exhibition of McNeil’s works at Conduit Gallery.