“New York is a woman, she’ll make you cry, and to her you’re just another guy”.
Joyce Goldstein Gallery is thrilled to announce an upcoming exhibition of paintings by Patrick Neal. Anonymous Oasis will run from October 22 - November 25, 2023, with an opening reception on October 22nd from 1-3pm. This is Neal’s second solo show with the gallery. The exhibition includes fourteen new paintings in watercolor, pastel and mixed media on panel, and comprise diptychs, triptychs and singular works completed during the past year. The principal subject is the urban landscape, but this theme materializes in surprising ways—sometimes as intimate fractured vignettes, and at others as distinct sprawling panoramas.
Neal, who works primarily in the still life genre in his NYC studio, found himself branching out to landscape, portrait and interior subjects during the Fall of 2022. The artist was invited to attend an artist residency in Costa Rica that took place at The Hotel Belmar in the cloud forest of Monteverde, and the experience shifted the focus of his painting. The unique biodiversity of the cloud forest covered a fascinating range of indigenous flora and fauna, and the daily climate shifted hourly from drizzling rain, to wafting cloud mists, and hot pink and orange sunsets.
The hotel was very much a communal environment, and the ethereal quality of how outside forest terrain mingled with indoor domesticity made it easy to move between various subject matter, whether person, place or object. Neal began drawing on-site in charcoal and graphite which served as preliminary studies for larger watercolor paintings. Working from observation, memory and photographs, he also employed grids to scale-up and reimagine a variety of smaller compositions. An admirer of Jennifer Bartlett’s work, he found himseIf revisiting Bartlett’s seminal In The Garden series as he similarly approached a garden subject—a taproom and pond in the center of the campus. Working in a wide variety of media, he found inspiration in the many faceted aspects of the hotel’s lush surroundings.
Returning to New York City in November 2022, Neal embarked on a series of landscape paintings that constitute the works in Anonymous Oasis and are the logical extension of the work he began in Costa Rica. These employ a similar free-ranging use of media and perceptual cues with which to set a work in motion, although now envisioning sights common to the urban jungle. The series is drawn from a variety of locales, including the horticulture and attractions of Gantry Park, Queens and Bryant Park, Manhattan, as well as the woods of Lake George and Chatham, NY and the sidewalks and construction sites of Long Island City, NY. A constant throughout all this work is the device of a roving grid that serves to organize while simultaneously abstract the representational subjects, and sometimes serves as a subject itself. The multi-quadrant, cinematic format reveals different times of day, diverse vantage points, and shifting psychological states, while also accentuating the mark-making and constitutive forms that bring to life motifs of urban and rural living. Through a cross-gallery dialogue, we are presented with a travelogue of industy, tourism, trash, and textures. The less-than-idyllic nature of the images suggest traces of a life lived without revealing any full on characters or dramatizations. The title Anonymous Oasis suggests the dichotomy of places that manage to be personal and impersonal at the same time, and is a play on Bartlett’s elemental and uneasy, but equally intriguing Earth: Emergency series.