Anne Neely’s Ethical Abstractions

In “Fearful Symmetries,” written to accompany a portfolio of her paintings in the journal Agni in 2018, Anne Neely underscored the importance of her Maine home and studio to her work. “In the last 30 years,” she wrote, “most of my paintings have begun or were imagined or conceived of in this place. Whether I am scanning and scraping the insides of my life or facing outward to the ocean and horizon, I move through whatever it takes to make a painting, here.”

The “here” is Jonesport, a fishing village on the Maine coast near Canada. In this remote and picturesque place, far from the madding crowd (and her second home in Boston) Neely has created paintings that respond to some of the major issues of the day: climate change, environmental water loss, and immigration.

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