PAINTING > Winter Was Hard

2023
2023
2023
2023
Boga
Oil on canvas
20 x 24 inches
2020
Onions
Watercolor on aquaboard
30 x 22 inches
2019
"Swan vase (studio wall)
Oil on canvas
28 x 22 inches
2021
Winter flowers
watercolor on clayboard
30 x 30 inches
2021
Metropolis
oil on canvas
22 x 22 inches
2020
White Onions
Oil on canvas
20 x 24 inches
2020
Flaming Katy
Oil on canvas
30 x 24 inches
2020
Red Onions
Oil on canvas
20 x 30 inches
2020
Alliums and Thistle
Oil on canvas
30 x 30 inches
2020
Gorky with cactus
Watercolor, oil pastel and oil on aquaboard
20 x 16 inches
2020
Jaguar Palace (blood and water)
Oil on canvas
28 x 22 inches
2020

Winter Was Hard
still/lives from lockdown
Platform Project Space, DUMBO
April 24 – May 22 2021

Exhibition Catalog with essay by Alyssa Fanning
issuu.com/patrick064/docs/brochure-9inx…

Art in Dumbo IGTV Tour with Elizabeth Hazan of Platform Project Space
www.instagram.com/tv/CPGgLJ8rUxF/?igshi…

The paintings in Winter was Hard were done during the past year (with a few outliers here and there), and are bracketed between the winter seasons of this year and last. The timeline for the exhibition represents Neal’s personal evolution before, during and slightly after the Covid pandemic. A journey told through pictures that span four seasons. Neal regards two paintings in particular, Alliums and Thistle and Winter Flowers, as sister pieces that register moods ranging from a dark Winter to hopeful Spring. The show will include a catalog with an essay by Alyssa Fanning.

Neal creates still life paintings with props such as live and artificial flowers, fabric, recycled packaging materials, glass vases, photos, and printed reproductions. He recycles and references his own drawings, tracings and other cast-off materials from the studio, such as plastic and craft paper. As a painter who writes about art, Neal’s props are diaristic materials gleaned from travels to, from and within the studio; found objects, snapshots and pictures and pages from books alluding to the artists he is thinking about. These ephemera trigger visceral and sensual responses that act as thought-starters from which to investigate a variety of subjects, whether personal, art historical, topical or simply the materiality of paint itself.

Neal approaches painting and writing in an impressionistic way, gathering thoughts and insights as they appear, circling around a subject in order to address it more directly. This in turn, opens the door to new inquiries. Visual or literary sources influence one another and get interspersed between the two disciplines. Compounding multiple sources is analogous to the layering of paint as a composition evolves. The structure in Neal’s paintings is conceived like a poem, where a distinct theme emerges surrounded by flurries and tangents pertaining to different and seemingly unrelated material.

Paintings in the show include Jaguar Palace inspired by a visit to the ancient Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan in Mexico just before the pandemic. Many works include items gathered or seen during long walks in industrial Long Island City while on lockdown; plastic netted bags shorn from onions and Christmas trees, and ribbed textiles that function as grids and abstract terrain. Several paintings in oil or watercolor are anchored by a grounding lightbox and colored lighting that cast a clinical glow, and include objects like wooden blocks, a stained and scuffed slop sink, and a book cover on Arshile Gorky. The works ranging from minimal to maximal mostly depict flowers, either fresh picks of the day, or plastic and spray painted. They ruminate on and pay homage to such artists as Morris Graves, Jan Groover, Sam Francis, Henri Fantin-Latour and Odilon Redon.