Margaret Neill

Brooklyn, New York, USA

My work emerges from an engagement with my materials and is concerned with neither narrative nor image. The medium becomes the vehicle for transient, but ever-present tensions that seek their resolution through painting. I am interested in using a system of organically derived circular shapes within the rectangular format of the picture plane. I like to investigate the tensions inherent in positive and negative interplay as well as shapes that appear and disappear beneath the surface of the picture plane.

I work intuitively with no prearranged sketches or plan. I am interested in inventing shape and layering color. I am compelled to follow an edge to see where it can reside in an interesting way. This involves risk as one exploration may lead to new discoveries while another to complete dissolution. I set up problems or unlikely juxtapositions and then try to resolve the conflicts I see through the painting process. Generally my ideas are one step ahead of what I am capable of achieving, so that I am continually drawn ahead to future possibilities.

To me, painting is a way of making maps to a place no other process gives access to. It’s a means of giving shape to complex feelings and ideas. It is a way of being, where experience is transformed from within and manifested in material form. I relate my work to my experience of living in an urban environment—a context of shifting energy, potential, and light. Also to speed and scale. Like when riding a bike, the eye sees a constantly transforming landscape on a shifting ground. It is a process of exploring perception. For me it is a life process, an awareness of being, a way of thinking made palpable.

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