When I was three years old, a fox raided the chicken coop on my parent’s farm. The site of the massacre was strewn with evidence of its swift violence. One particular bird had only been partially consumed – almost perfectly bisected in such a way that it’s entire reproductive system was revealed. I could see a series of stages beginning with a yolk and ending with a perfect, shelled egg within that body – fixed at the moment of death in pristine order. This visual experience represented a turning point in my relationship to the world. I now see it as my first clear instantiation that life, and nature underneath it, is a baroque, mysterious thing that hangs precariously on a framework of elegant reason.
– Elizabeth Neel
The synthesis of paint and idea is freshly at work in the paintings of Elizabeth Neel. The paint becomes decay, violence, nature; instead of describing, it simply IS. The oneness is appealing. Equally appealing is the content– exploration into our own violence, contamination of nature, decay and death. Deep, layered meaning, and the unselfconscious uniting of language and idea.