Melanie Reese

Region: Northeast

I am an observational artist who paints abstractly. In this series, I create minimalist paintings by layering lines and organic forms on canvas. Paint is applied in large, sweeping gestures that are physically laborious—tracing the movements of my body. These forms are both accentuated and complemented by lines that are applied with spray paint: a symbolic medium for marginalized groups. Both the forms and spray-painted lines are meant to interact with the frame of the painting, so the edge of the canvas itself becomes a line demarcating the limits of the work. The result is a tension between the sharper geometric edge of the canvas and the smoother organic forms that interact with it. This tension, along with the symbolic nature of the lines themselves, which are inspired by my everyday observations of the struggles faced by women, echoes the fight against social and legal forms of oppression. My paintings allow me to engage with these issues and add my own distinctive female voice to this collective, ongoing struggle.