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; UNTITLED Miami, Jane Lombard Gallery, it makes it more so if you say so, Jane Lombard Gallery, Chelsea NY; Behaving Differently, Plank Gallery, Seattle WA, Neely has been a resident artist at Sparkbox Studio, Ontario, Canada, Vermont Studio Center and McColl Center for Art + Innovation. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University.