Inside Outside Unnameable Books (Vanderbilt Avenue

Meridith McNeal

$20,000

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Inside Outside Unnameable Books (Vanderbilt Avenue

Artwork Tags:

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Inside Outside Windowphilia are life-sized ink and watercolor paintings of windows on paper play with reflection and layers of external and internal space. Inside Outside Unnameable Books (Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn) is a view looking into a used book store in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. That block of Vanderbilt Avenue, a major urban thoroughfare, is lined with shops and restaurants in the ground floor of brick row houses typical of the late nineteenth century neighborhood. An avid reader this shop calls to me whenever I am nearby. You can find me peering in at the books if you look carefully.

12
55"H × 41"W
Painting
Watercolor
Architecture/City
Realism
Unframed
Watercolor on paper
No
No
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STATEMENT

Inside Outside Three things want a frame to give them structure: a painting, a story, and a window. All take different kinds of framing, of course, but the concept is similar: physical or abstract, a frame implies a viewpoint. It is where you start from. Where you end up, on the other hand, is another matter entirely, because frames—for paintings, for stories, or for windows—are not so simple. They are points of entry that at the same time throw up barriers and define boundaries: the viewer is on one side or the other. A frame simultaneously organizes, invites, points the way, and separates. Windows, in particular, invite a multiplicity of meanings. Add a reflective surface, so light can work its magic, and you bring a sort of graceful confusion: what is on one side can coexist with what is on the other, the space behind and before the viewer overlaid. Where you have been shows itself side by side with where you are, or where you may yet be going. Inside Outside Windowphilia are life-sized ink and watercolor paintings of windows on paper. Magical Things Started while on my first residency at the American Academy in Rome Magical Things is an ongoing series of watercolors that venerate the easily overlooked objects of everyday life. Mundane objects become totems, milagros—charms of mindfulness, imbued with a power greater than the sum of their parts. This series has taken some twists and turns. For example, in 2018 after my mother died, I began a trajectory of this work which brought me solace and comfort: Magical Things from My Mother’s House. When NYC was given stay-at-home orders in March 2020, I embarked on Magical Things from Quarantine which helped me to process the strangeness of the time. These small paintings have and will continue to serve as a ballast of sorts, a touchstone for day-to-day experience.

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