Born in Stowe, Vermont, 1975; Lives and works in Morristown, Vermont
Elizabeth Neel (b. 1975, Stowe, Vermont) works primarily in painting, creating her own vernacular of gestures and print-like techniques to explore abstraction, the failure to contain chaotic forces and the individual in relation to the landscape. Neel’s expressionistic techniques include pouring, brushing, printing, rolling and dragging acrylic paint onto unstretched raw canvas. The mirrored shapes often seen in her work are achieved by folding wet canvas onto itself. Once stretched, the paintings open up to the viewer like the unfolding of a Rorschach test, wherein new and unique associations and evocations occur. There is a kind of kinesthetic empathy that is felt in each work. She keeps the seams of every painting exposed in that the work itself is a document of how it was made, her process displayed as choreography. Neel’s lean toward abstraction allows a plurality of meaning to exist in each painting. As the granddaughter of American portrait painter Alice Neel and sister of filmmaker Andrew Neel, Elizabeth Neel’s practice is informed by her life in rural and urban spaces, the knowledge of film and having nuanced ideas of narrative in abstract art. As a part of her practice, Neel collects an ever-growing codex of images, texts and minutiae culled from the internet to metabolize and obscure. From animal X-rays and flora to architecture and interior design, her work is strongly shaped by the structural qualities that make up life in the anthropocene and is emphatically of this time.
Neel was recently the subject of a solo exhibition, Limb after Limb, at Pilar Corrias, London (UK) in 2021. Past solo exhibitions include In the Belly of the Whale at Various Small Fires, Seoul (KR) in 2020; Life in Halves at Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles (CA) in 2020; Night Jars and Allies at Pilar Corrias in 2019; and Tangled on the Serpent Chair at Mary Boone Gallery, New York (NY) in 2018.
The artist’s work is in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo (NY); the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (CA); the Herbert F Johnson Museum at Cornell University, Ithaca (NY); and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MA).
New York Times