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.
Marcelyn McNeil has been exhibited throughout the United States including at the Wichita Center for the Arts, the Texas Biennial, the University of Dallas, and the Harvester Arts Center, among other institutions. She received a MacDowell Colony Fellowship in 2011, and was rewarded the Visual Artist of the Year by the Decorative Arts Center Houston in 2015, along with other accolades. She has a BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She lives and works in Houston, TX.