Charlotte-based painter Meaghan Fennessy Keeley creates non-representational grids of thickly layered, overlapping and interlocking squares that evoke Color Field paintings and architectural abstraction. Some titles cite the influence of Piet Mondrian, but the artist’s training in textiles is also evident, particularly in the bold textures of her compositions, which suggest Jasper Johns. She transcends this triumvirate of Modernist influences, however, striving after a delicate and thrilling balance that simultaneously emphasizes the canvases’ surfaces while creating fleeting impressions of depth and perspective.
By layering materials — thick encaustic and oil paints, pastels and mixed media — and forms, Fennessy Keeley lets viewers focus on the seductive materiality of her work and its complex spatial relations. Some pieces unmistakably conjure landscapes or city views, while others remain staunchly abstract, focusing attention on the incredibly diverse range of processes involved. Many of the works obey a grid-like structure, while others unfold according to a carefully orchestrated but loose arrangement of planes, fields, forms and textures. No matter the style, Fennessy Keeley’s geometric choreography remains poised and precise.