Nancy Neill & Chris Cox

Two Perspectives: Faces of Hospitality – Places of Tranquility

Works on View: April 1st – 30th, 2011
Opening Reception: Sunday, April 3rd, 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Norristown, PA — March 8 — Pagus Gallery at the Norristown Arts Building is pleased to announce their next exhibition, “Two Perspectives: Faces of Hospitality – Places of Tranquility.” This show will feature recent paintings by two local artists, Nancy Neill and Chris Cox.

“Faces of Hospitality” consists of large portrait paintings by Nancy Neill. A collection of people who work in the hospitality industry in the US and Europe, each oil on canvas painting portrays a strong contrast between representation and abstraction. “My work asks the question – what can you really know about a person by looking only at his or her face. Can you tell what they do for a living, their place in society, or where they are from?,” says Neill. Her work examines these questions.

Neill works from the outside inward, with the surface of the face painted as a landscape. Color is used to develop the personality of the figure, staying close to a monochromatic palette. Drawing is often incorporated and the painting is left somewhat abstract so as to be more interpretive. Her portraits confront the viewer with a direct gaze, which enhances the sense of intimacy. The title of each piece brings a greater narrative to the work by revealing each person’s job and where they live.

Neill has been painting for more than eight years. One of her paintings was selected to be in the Philadelphia Sketch Club’s Juried 2010 “Absolutely Abstract” show. Her work also has been exhibited at the Nichols Berg Gallery in Chestnut Hill, PA. In addition, she has been part of Woodmere Art Museum’s members’ show. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago.

“Places of Tranquility” is Chris Cox’s series of expressionist paintings of villages in France. Using oil on canvas, she recreates the architecture in her own geometric style and color palette. There are no doors or windows, and no people inhabit these villages. According to Cox, it is the squares, rectangles and triangles that form the structures within the villages that inspire her interpretation. “I play with perspective, altering it and painting it the way I want it to be, how I see it, not trying to achieve any illusion of reality,” she says. Some of her villages are loose and suggestive, while others are hard-edged and exacting.

Painting intuitively, using only a palette knife, her interpretative colors and sense of light flow from the villages she creates. “I think of them as peaceful places with a sense of mystery,” says Cox.

Cox has been painting for more than 20 years. Her work was chosen to be a part of the Philadelphia Sketch Club’s Juried 2010 “Absolutely Abstract” show. One of her paintings also was selected for Woodmere Art Museum’s 2008 Juried Show, as well as their 55th Annual Member’s Show. Her work also has been exhibited at the Nichols Berg Gallery in Chestnut Hill, PA. Over the last year she completed a commissioned piece. As Creative Director for an advertising agency, Cox has been the recipient of many national and international awards for creative achievement. She has a master’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University.