Melanie Reese is a painter whose works are impressions of nature––essence of lines and shapes, layered sheets of color and form––existing as symbolic formalism. Lines, shapes, colors, and textures are as central to her work as the process of creating them.

She received her B.S. from Skidmore College in 2013. During that time she studied at Studio Art Centers International (SACI) in Florence. She completed an artist residency at Elsewhere Studios in 2013 and went on to receive aPost-Baccalaureate certificate from San Francisco Art Institute in 2014.Melanie received her MFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) inNYC in May 2017 and attended the Vermont Studio Center residency in November2017.

Melanie has had solo exhibitions at R&D Studios Bushwood and Suzette LaValle inBrooklyn, NY and has shown in several selected group and juried exhibitions including Post-Appreciation at the Diego Rivera Gallery at San FranciscoArt Institute; Play Me A Game at the Skybridge Gallery at Eugene LangCollege; Cognitive Dissidence at Ray Smith Studio; and Unicode atSVA Flatiron Gallery in Chelsea, NY. Melanie was on a panel for the “The EntrepreneurialArtist Workshop” at the Tang Museum and received the Award of Excellence from the 58th Long Island Artist Exhibition at the Art League of Long Island. Melanie’s work has been in a number of publications including New American Paintings Northeast Issue 134, New AmericanPainting Featured Artists, Inside Artists, Studio Visit Magazine, ArtworkArchive Blog, and Vellum Magazine.

Melanie currently lives in East Hampton, NY with her boyfriend and cat, Miss Puds, who hates all of Mel’s paintings and is always her toughest critic.

Artist Statement

I am an observational artist who paints abstractly. I create within this realm of contradiction, developing formalist structures through a process of abstract-type painting. My paintings are impressions of nature – essence of lines and shapes, layered sheets of color and form – existing as symbolic formalism. 

Simplified shapes that recall and mimic nature are punctuated by color and form; I am using minimalism as a method for portraying nature in its inherent deliberate existence, as essential. Contradiction continues in my fascination with creating atmospheric depth through methodically built-up sheer layers of single-color sheets – veils of monochromatic forms. 

Layering occurs through repeated actions of outlining forms by ‘painting’ the negative space with liquid masking tape. The shape of each form is informed by nature’s lexicon as well as each previous layer. I explore this methodology by pouring a single color of acrylic paint into the outlined form and dragging the paint across the canvas in sweeping gestures. The natural tooth of the canvas exposes each drag, revealing my process. After removing the liquid tape, a positive form with clean, precise edges remains. This same process of controlled manipulation and layering is repeated until the composition is complete.

"Composition works with color, with surface, and with light to create an abstract visual reality that I wish to exist solely on its strength as art.” -Susan Frecon 

My earlier figurative work is very informative to my current abstract paintings and the relationship between the two can be seen in my fascination with line and edge.

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