Carmen Neely’s work—a combination of painting and found objects—is imbued with deep intention and awareness of her identity as a young black woman making art in the twenty-first century. “The mark”, revered and mythologized as the purest form of artistic intention in the art historical canon, becomes an act of subtle subversion in Neely’s paintings. Her own sexuality and female body appropriate the traditionally masculine gesture, and turn painting into an act of femininity. With each brushstroke, she pushes back against the status quo, inserting herself into a larger dialogue about signification in contemporary abstract painting.
Carmen Neely (b. 1987, Charlotte, NC) earned a MFA in studio art from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2016, and a BFA in painting from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2012. Recent exhibitions include; it makes it more so if you say so, Jane Lombard Gallery, Chelsea NY; 17 feet away, Lump Gallery, Raleigh, NC; Behaving Differently, Plank Gallery, Seattle WA, Black Blooded: Curated by Jessica Gaynelle Moss, The New Gallery, Charlotte NC. Forthcoming exhibitions include Neely's first international solo exhibition, Lifelines, Setareh Gallery, Dusseldorf, DE, in January 2019. Neely has been a resident artist at Sparkbox Studio, Ontario, Canada, and Vermont Studio Center. She currently lives in Charlotte NC.