Reese (b. 1991) holds an MFA from the School of Visual Arts and a Bachelor of Science from Skidmore College. She has completed Artist-in-Residencies at Vermont Studio Center in 2017 and Elsewhere Studios in 2013. She was on a panel for the “The Entrepreneurial Artist Workshop” at the Tang Museum and received the Award of Excellence from the 58th Long Island Artist Exhibition at the Art League of Long Island. Reese has exhibited widely throughout the United States and has been featured in several publications including New American Paintings Northeast Issue 134, New American Painting Featured Artists, Inside Artists, Studio Visit Magazine, and A Women’s Thing.
Mel Reese’s work aims to capture the essence of human interaction with natural environments through observational formalist painting. Her work is heavily influenced by the landscapes throughout the east end of Long Island. Embracing the landscape as the vessel of human existence, Reese seeks to expose the complex overlapping of nature, identity, and classification of the people who embody these landscapes.
Utilizing her entirely unique painting through mono-printing process, Reese’s observations are distilled down, removing the extraneous. The delicate overlapping and repetition of line, shape, color, and texture allows her work to echo the representational through symbolic formalism. Through precise layering of minimalist forms, Reese is creating a lexicon of landscape gestures that, when structured in unique form-based sentences, reveal the nuances of the inherently humanistic conversation embedded within the landscapes we inhabit.