The Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery is pleased to announce our long awaited solo exhibition of paintings from the 1970’s and 1980’s by artist, GEORGE MCNEIL.
George McNeil spent his entire life and career in Brooklyn, NY allowing the transformative nature of the city to play a role in the evolution of his work. Studying at the Pratt Institute, Columbia University, the Arts Student League and the Hans Hoffman School of Fine Arts, McNeil fostered relationships with influential artists such as Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston, Franz Kline and Lee Krasner. McNeil accepted the Directorship of the Pratt Institute Evening Arts Program after serving in WWII and remained on the Pratt faculty from 1948 until 1981.
McNeil’s work in the 1970’s and 1980’s abandoned its previous non-objectivity and adopted a Neo-Expressionist creed with explosive force. The works on view investigate the thrill of contemporary urban life and values, often imbued with tension and ambiguity. These enigmatic compositions rebel against the highly intellectualized abstract art of the 1960’s, celebrating counterculture and the friction it created. In these paintings, pink and green hair and reeling expressions convey the incredible dynamism of punk rock, graffiti and the disco era of New York City.
McNeil can be considered a true pioneer of American modern art. John Russell, reviewing a 1983 exhibition of the artist’s work in The New York Times, wrote: The dark night of the soul plays no part in these paintings. McNeil sees the world as a place in which people kick up their heels as often as they can, and he has taught his paint to do the same. Recalling Kirchner, Ensor, and Munch, McNeil’s figures both confront and invite the viewer into “joyous anarchy,” painted with a sense of newfound liberation.
Among McNeil’s early noteworthy accomplishments, he was co-founder of the American Abstract Artists Group in 1936, and in 1939, McNeil was one of only five non-objective artists whose work was selected for the New York World's Fair exhibition. His work has been regularly reviewed by such publications as The New York Times, Time Magazine and ARTnews, and by writers such as Clement Greenberg, Thomas Hess, Barbara Rose, William Seitz, and Irving Sandler. He is collected by most major museums such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and many others.
Gallery Hours are Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m or By Appointment.
For more information or to arrange viewing, contact the Gallery at (212) 644-7171