Pilar Corrias Gallery is delighted to present Sphinx Ditch: an exhibition of new work by Elizabeth Neel. In her first solo exhibition in London, Elizabeth Neel explores intersections between gesture, material, memory, and space using Pilar Corrias Gallery as both a forum and a point of architectural reference for a new body of work.
The title of the exhibition, ‘Sphinx Ditch’, refers to a channel surrounding the body of the iconic Sphinx monument of Giza. The Ditch is a by-product of reductive sculptural technique but, rather than representing a mute void, this non-subject is replete with evidence of practical thought and creative methodology. By referencing this archaeological discovery as an ancient architectural sign-post within the context of the contemporary Rem Koolhaas designed gallery, Neel suggests a folding of time and space in which pattern, order, recognition and ritual are gained, lost and reclaimed through cycles of use, disuse and re use.
Neel’s new body of paintings record a sequence of gestures that refer to their own construction while simultaneously registering subject matter external to the procedure of their making. Masked areas of canvas, often completely unpainted, activate hand painted, brushed and spray painted constellations of marks.
While ostensibly abstract, Neel’s paintings have an uncanny insistence on representational residue, mood and content. Her sculptural forms extend this sensibility into three dimensions, using a diverse array of materials including clay, wood, wax, tape, inkjet prints, and found objects. This most recent group of assemblages foregrounds a tension between impulse and control while insinuating aspects of both organic and inorganic architecture.
As part of her installation, Neel has taped off areas of the gallery floor to demarcate clusters of inkjet prints of found images. These ephemeral arrangements act as a reminder of the provisional aspect of both exhibition space and memory and highlight the importance of sequence and juxtaposition in the creation of meaning.
Born in 1975, Elizabeth Neel lives and works in New York. Neel received her BA from Brown University in 1997 and her MFA from Columbia University in 2007. Her most recent solo exhibitions include ‘Leopard Complex’ at Sikkema Jenkins & Co., NY (2011) and ‘Stick Season’ curated by Fionn Meade at SculptureCenter, NY (2010).