Florence Neal (B.F.A., Visual Design, 1976) moved from her Columbus, Georgia, hometown to New York City shortly after graduating from Auburn University. Today, she maintains a studio there and directs the Kentler International Drawing Space, a nonprofit gallery, archive and educational venue she co-founded and dedicated to celebrating under-recognized contemporary artists working on paper. Her numerous awards include Pollock-Krasner Foundation fellowships and artist residencies across the globe.
Inspired by nature, Neal is a sculptor, painter and curator, though she also has long maintained an inclination for printmaking. In addition to the stark black-and-white impressions presented in this exhibition, Neal produces richly colored woodblock prints using water-borne pigments and the Japanese mokuhanga technique employed by 19th-century ukiyo-e masters, Hokusai and Hiroshige.
“Fire and Water” features a selection of recent acquisitions by the museum of Neal’s striking works, which reflect the interplay of elemental materials with man-made and natural phenomena. Among her wide-ranging subjects is a series of prints depicting fireworks displays from around the world.
This exhibition is presented in part with generous support from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, in recognition and celebration of the 200th anniversary of Alabama statehood in 2019.