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Elizabeth Neel

Life in Halves

March 14June 20, 2020

This image illustrates a link to the exhibition titled Elizabeth Neel: Life in Halves

About this exhibition

Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce the gallery’s fourth solo exhibition with New York-based painter Elizabeth Neel. Life in Halves presents a new suite of large scale paintings on canvas and a group of works on paper that extend her interest in the externalization of physical and psychological experience via abstraction. Using a diverse vocabulary of mark-making tools, including fingers, rags, brushes, mono-printing techniques and rollers, Neel’s paintings are ripe with emotive lyricism suggestive of the correlative and repetitious cycles of daily life.

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The titular works in the exhibition, two paintings titled Life in Halves (#1,#2), are indicative of Neel’s conceptual perspective, while not a diptych, the works purport meaning through juxtaposition – like twins, they suggest an imperfect mirroring through their similarities in palette, form, and shape while remaining firmly autonomous. For Neel, the paintings function as entities emblematic of the way we conceive of meaning in life through similarity and difference in a way that is not necessarily universal but interpretive.

Elizabeth Neel
“Life in Halves 1,” 2019
Acrylic on canvas
97 x 77" [HxW] (246.38 x 195.58 cm)
Inventory #NEE234
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photocredit Adam Reich, NY
Elizabeth Neel “Life in Halves 1,” 2019
Elizabeth Neel
“Life in Halves 2,” 2019
Acrylic on canvas
97 x 77" [HxW] (246.38 x 195.58 cm)
Inventory #NEE235
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photocredit Adam Reich, NY
Elizabeth Neel “Life in Halves 2,” 2019

Analogous marks appear and reappear throughout her compositions–flat opaque swaths of white, extended droplets of paint, sweeping arches, and textural clouds of color occupy the raw canvases as cooperative forces to build dynamic visual equations. These marks act as architectural or bodily supports, anchors for which to center or contain forces of energy and movement that ripple through the paintings. Switching from vertical to horizontal, the marks act as points of reference and punctuations to orient the space of her compositions and to invite the viewer to absorb and consume their connections.

Elizabeth Neel
“Afterlife,” 2019
Acrylic on canvas
76 x 130" [HxW] (193.04 x 330.2 cm)
Inventory #NEE240
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photocredit Adam Reich, NY
neel_240_afterlife_hires-1584043609.jpg
Elizabeth Neel
“Siege Mentality,” 2019
Acrylic on canvas
71 x 78" [HxW] (180.34 x 198.12 cm)
Inventory #NEE239
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photocredit Adam Reich, NY
Elizabeth Neel “Siege Mentality,” 2019
Elizabeth Neel
“Why Io,” 2020
Acrylic on canvas
64 x 61" [HxW] (162.56 x 154.94 cm)
Inventory #NEE253
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photocredit Adam Reich, NY
Elizabeth Neel “Why Io,” 2020
Elizabeth Neel
“Down Boy Blue,” 2019
Acrylic on canvas
Diptych, Each 72 x 45" [HxW] (182.88 x 114.3 cm)
Inventory #NEE236
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
Elizabeth Neel “Down Boy Blue,” 2019
Elizabeth Neel
“Bystanders and Parasites,” 2019
Acrylic on canvas
58 x 46" [HxW] (147.32 x 116.84 cm)
Inventory #NEE237
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photocredit Adam Reich, NY
Elizabeth Neel “Bystanders and Parasites,” 2019
Elizabeth Neel
“Minikin Mouth,” 2019
Acrylic on canvas
58 x 46" [HxW] (147.32 x 116.84 cm)
Inventory #NEE238
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photocredit Adam Reich, NY
Elizabeth Neel “Minikin Mouth,” 2019 Acrylic on canvas 58 x 46" [HxW] (147.32 x 116.84 cm) Inventory #NEE238 Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles Photocredit Adam Reich, NY

More explicitly thematic are Neel’s works on paper, interpretations of the American flag in ultramarine blue, cadmium red, and a combination of the two. Part of a larger series of 50, the works are a meditation on representation and identification with a loaded symbol of nationhood, interrogating its meaning in our current political moment. Titled US the works question individual and collective identity as it shifts and morphs. Using only two colors, ones associated with divisive political perspectives, Neel suggests that politics are not simply “red” and “blue”, she introduces nuance and complexity into her various interpretations. The gallery has published an artist book on the occasion of the exhibition.

Elizabeth Neel
“US 1,” 2019
Acrylic on paper
22.5 x 28.5" [HxW] (57.15 x 72.39 cm)
Inventory #NEE242
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
Elizabeth Neel “US 1,” 2019 Acrylic on paper 22.5 x 28.5" [HxW] (57.15 x 72.39 cm) Inventory #NEE242 Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles Photo credit: Jeff McLane
Elizabeth Neel
“US 29,” 2019
Acrylic on paper
22.5 x 28.5" [HxW] (57.15 x 72.39 cm)
Inventory #NEE245
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
Elizabeth Neel “US 29,” 2019
Elizabeth Neel
“US 4,” 2019
Acrylic on paper
22.5 x 28.5" [HxW] (57.15 x 72.39 cm)
Inventory #NEE246
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
Elizabeth Neel “US 4,” 2019
Elizabeth Neel
“US 21,” 2019
Acrylic on paper
22.5 x 28.5" [HxW] (57.15 x 72.39 cm)
Inventory #NEE247
Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles
Photo credit: Jeff McLane
Elizabeth Neel “US 21,” 2019 Acrylic on paper 22.5 x 28.5" [HxW] (57.15 x 72.39 cm) Inventory #NEE247 Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles Photo credit: Jeff McLane

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Biography

Elizabeth Neel (b. 1975, Stowe, Vermont) lives and works in New York. She graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in 2007 and received a BA from Brown University in 1997. Recent solo exhibitions include Elizabeth Neel: Nightjars and Allies, Pilar Corrias, London, UK; Tangled on the Serpent Chair, Mary Boone, New York, NY; Claw Hammer, Vielmetter Los Angeles; Vulture and Chicks, Pilar Corrias, London, UK; Lobster with Shell Game, Vielmetter Los Angeles; The People, the Park, the Ornament, Pilar Corrias, London, UK; 3 and 4 before 2 and 5, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY; Routes and Pressures, Vielmetter Los Angeles; Sphinx Ditch, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London, UK; Leopard Complex, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., NY; Stick Season, The Sculpture Center, New York, NY. Recent group exhibitions include Structures of Feeling, Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich, Switzerland; Paintings, Mary Boone, New York, NY; Surface Work, Victoria Miro, London, UK; August and Everything After, Plymouth Rock, Zurich, Switzerland; Speaking Through Paint, Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, NY; Modern Talking, curated by Nicola Trezzi, Cluj Museum, Romania; Four Rooms, Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland; Painting Overall, Prague Biennial 5, Prague, Czech Republic; Going Where the Weather Suits My Clothes, A Fall of Light of Fabric, Mothers Tank Station, Dublin, Ireland; Living with Art: Collecting Contemporary in Metro New York, The Neuberger Museum, Purchase College, Purchase, NY; Abstract America, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK. Her works are in the following public collections: Albright-Knox, Buffalo, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Herbert F Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.