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 November 2017.

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 lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn 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 inspired by formalism. Lines, shapes, colors, and textures are as central to my work as is the process of creating them. A complex layering of these abstract elements allows my work to echo the representational through symbolic formalism.

My most recent series of paintings is inspired by nature. Observations are simplified into basic lines, shapes, colors, and textures. Distilling the essence of these natural forms reflects nature’s tendency to remove the extraneous.

Each layer considers the negative space, which I paint with liquid tape. Once sealed, a shape is revealed in the positive space of the canvas, into which I pour acrylic paint and drag across the canvas with a squeegee. Every gesture creates new lines and textures. The liquid tape removed, a monochromatic shape with a precise edge is revealed. Repeating this process, I methodically build up sheer layers of monochromatic forms. Each new layer informed by all previous layers.

The exposed drags of paint lead you across the surface and through each layer. This enables the viewer to consider and appreciate individual lines, shapes, colors, and textures. But it also enables one to consider how these abstract elements were initially created, and to appreciate how they ultimately combine to call on the representational.

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