Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is pleased to present 3 and 4 before 2 and 5, a solo show of paintings and sculpture by Elizabeth Neel on view from April 12th through May 22nd. Referencing the taxonomic method of numbering toes in a mammal footprint, the exhibition title embraces sequencing, substitution, and choreography as configuring principles within organic and inorganic architecture. Large scale oil paintings counter and correspond with three sculptures within the exhibition space, suggesting motives and turns that propel the viewer, while a series of framed acrylic works on paper punctuate a narrative of control and release.
A wall-mounted assemblage, act 1 model, serves as a portal for the rest of the exhibition, departing from the spectral pacing of Giorgio De Chirico’s surrealist town square paintings. Disjunctions in scale and aberrant links to historical genres unfold, from landscape to cityscape, and still life to vanitas. A horizontal sculpture in the window of the west gallery, specialist in ruins, gives further vantage to a door-turned-tabletop displaying comic hybrids that play with architectural scale and recumbent portraiture.
The largest sculpture in the show, arms were legs, provides a pivotal moment in the exhibition, encroaching upon the load-bearing column in the main gallery. Here, limbs of wood and metal intersect, delimiting space, line and vector forms that reach out to the surrounding paintings. The architectural space that results extends across the paintings, creating a sustained surface that cuts through smears, empty primed canvas, thin washes, and dilating swells of spray paint, leading the viewer through mark and sequence. 3 and 4 before 2 and 5 insists on intersections and affinity between the often-polarizing notions of inside and outside, nature and machine.
Elizabeth Neel was born in 1975. She received her BA from Brown University and her MFA from Columbia University. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Suzanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; Pilar Corrias, London; Monica De Cardenas, Milan; Deitch Projects, New York; and at The Sculpture Center, Long Island City. Recent group exhibitions include I Mean Orange at STUDIOLO, Zurich; Modern Talking at the Cluj Museum, Cluj, Romania; Prague Biennial 5; Four Rooms at the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; A Painting Show at Harris Lieberman, New York; and Going Where the Weather Suits My Clothes at Mother’s Tank Station, Dublin among others.