Cypher , 2017. Oil on Linen, 14 x 11 inches.

                                                                                     Cypher, 2017. Oil on Linen, 14 x 11 inches.

Anne Neely: Hidden in Plain Sight
Curated by Sarah Sze

November 2 - December 16, 2017
Gallery closed November 22 - November 25

Opening reception: Thurs. November 2, 6-8PM

Anne Neely and David Cohen in Conversation: 
Wed. November 15, 6PM

CUE Art Foundation is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Anne Neely, curated by Sarah Sze. Titled Hidden in Plain Sight, the exhibition features a new series of paintings. Portrait-oriented and primarily small-scale, the works in this series represent a new direction for the artist—a shift in focus from the natural world to the deeply personal. Fore fronting the artist, these paintings emphasize Neely’s process of mark-making, her dabbing, smearing, pressing, spreading, etching, and combing of paint onto canvas. Curator Sarah Sze writes, “These are the paintings Neely would paint if no one was looking. Intimate in scale, they are raw, honest, and direct. They reveal a language with the desire to express, but they also talk to the limits of expression itself.”

Neely has been painting for more than forty years. For much of that time, she has created paintings that refer to the natural world, complex landscapes that highlight both ecological beauty and the issues that threaten it. While these landscapes showcase the artist’s hand—her layers of rich texture and hue—Neely herself all but disappears within them. In Hidden in Plain Sight, for the first time, Neely turns her gaze inward, to focus on internal landscapes of memory and emotion. Layered with coded objects, Neely’s new works are often enigmatic in their meaning. Throughout the series, wavering grid patterns reminiscent of plaid textiles emphasize the materiality and surface of the works. Some, like Portrait of the Artist (2016), contain elements of whimsy—forms anthropomorphized with black dot eyes and lines for mouths. Others, such as The Flower and the Jewel (2017), seem to celebrate or confront the viewer with the female body.

These autobiographical works draw on the memories that Neely carries with her, “hidden in plain sight,” of the experiences that have shaped her life. Neely writes, “The difference and experience of these current paintings is that I forage emotional territory where extreme fear and joy join forces and become intimates. This connectivity between joy and fear has formed my life and the constant is my art.”

Anne Neely is a painter and printmaker who spends her time between Boston, Massachusetts, and Jonesport, Maine. She was a finalist for the Prix de Rome and was twice a finalist in painting for the MASS Cultural Council Fellowship. She has been awarded residencies at the Millay Colony for the Arts in New York, at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Co. Mayo, Ireland, and at the Cill Rialaig Arts Center in Co. Kerry, Ireland.  Neely's work has been shown at Lohin Geduld Gallery in New York, as well as other galleries in New York, Boston, and San Francisco and in museums around the country. Most recently, she had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Science, Boston entitled “Water Stories,” about water issues in America. Neely’s work can be found in the collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; The Davis Museum, Wellesley, MA; The Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA; The deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA; The Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME; Grunwald Center for Graphic Art, UCLA; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Her work has been reviewed in Art in America, Art News, The New York Times, and The Irish Times, and a book has been published on her recent exhibition at the Museum of Science, Boston.

Curator Sarah Sze is an artist living and working in New York City. Sze employs a constellation of materials to create works that question the value society places on materials and how meaning is ascribed to the places and times we inhabit. Sze was the representative for the United States at the Venice Biennale in 2013, and was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2003. She has exhibited in museums worldwide, and her works are held in the permanent collections of many institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Fondation Cartier, Paris; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; and the Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles, CA. Sze’s work has been featured in The Whitney Biennial (2000), the Carnegie International (1999) and international biennials, including Berlin (1998), Guangzhou (2015), Liverpool (2008), Lyon (2009), São Paulo (2002), and Venice (1999, 2013, and 2015).

The exhibition is accompanied by a 32-page color catalogue, with texts by Anne Neely, Sarah Sze, Suzette McAvoy, and John A. Tyson. The catalogue is available online, and free of charge to gallery visitors. For more information please contact Programs Director Shona Masarin-Hurst at

Download press release

View catalogue

Catalogue essay: Anne Neely: Dwelling on Paint by John A Tyson


Review: Anne Neely at the CUE Art Foundation
Arte Fuse, by Jonathan Goodman
November 2017