Mariane Ibrahim to Represent Carmen Neely

Carmen Neely | Representation

Mariane Ibrahim is pleased to announce global representation of Chicago based artist Carmen Neely. The artist presented her first exhibition with the gallery in Paris in 2021 entitled, Where to begin.... Her work will be presented at the 2022 edition of EXPO Chicago and her first gallery solo exhibition will take place in Chicago during Spring 2023.

The expression exists in imaginary worlds Neely transpired as a child, creating scenarios and relationships to objects that re-enforce meaning in inanimate objects. This translates to the execution of the work as documentation of lived experiences through embodiment. In this way, the paintings are embodied documents of personal histories, honoring memories and the artist's choices.


“Carmen’s work is ephemeral, guiding the viewer through a recurring gesture, the color palette soft, alluding to a variety of emotions.” Mariane Ibrahim


"Mariane and I both took major leaps of faith investing in this city as transplants, and have found so much support and community here. It's truly energizing to be aligned in this way. I'm excited to continue expanding with the gallery in our growth outside of this space, but there's something that feels really special about having an anchor together in Chicago." - Carmen Neely


Coming from a lineage of sentimental Black matriarchs who savored their possessions for decades, valuing each as an eternal vessel for the spirit, Neely feels a natural attachment to collecting. Whether the series consists of objects or sentiments all carry an emotional physicality.

She states, “The work I make is a result of this emphasis on both reflecting and relishing. Paintings and drawings serve as a means of ‘visual paraphrasing,’ relying on gestures alluding to personal specifics and formal relationships embodying memory. Accumulations of movements or marks on the surface enact translations of experience. In a process of assembly which mimics the presentation of grouped individual objects collectively representing their owner, the gestures aim to somehow pull together disparate parts of their author’s existence.”

Neely shares an excerpt from her ongoing entries, she uses in creating and reflecting on the work, which operate as their own form of archiving:
Attempt to anchor yourself in the present moment.
Notice the words that stick to your tongue / replay in your ears / stimulate nerves.
If you laugh, smirk, drop your jaw, gasp, become hot from fear / anger / resentment,
If you are moved in whatever way unexpected words may move you,
perplexed / shocked / aroused / disappointed / enamored / comforted…
write it down.
no thing is too trivial or too heavy

Revisit the note.
Revisit the temperature of your skin, the quality of surrounding air, the tone of your counterpart,
the smell of that space, the ambient sound, your fluctuating breath...
Retell it.

March 31, 2022