Illusionistic Environments by Katie Neece


Katie Neece (b. 1989) is an artist and educator living and working in South Bend, Indiana. Katie is a third year MFA candidate in Painting at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. She graduated with her undergraduate degree in drawing and painting and a minor in art history from Indiana University, South Bend. She also works at the Snite Museum of Art at Notre Dame as program coordinator for summer high school educational programs for aspiring art students.


Using traditional oil painting techniques that rely on nuanced physical touch and demanding material execution, my work incorporates imagery from computer graphics software programs and related digital ephemera. I create an artificial pictorial space using gradients, drop shadows, and flat areas to construct an illusionistic environment­ within the conventions of the screen and digital manifestations of space. Choosing to paint the digital constructions draws attention to both advancements in technology and the advancements in the historical trajectory of painting.

I use the pictorial language of geometric abstraction among the early 20th century European avant-garde, while simultaneously focusing on 90’s American mall aesthetic as a site to incorporate these forms as a reference to an inherent optimism in a utopian future that has continually failed to materialize. This re-contextualization is an attempt to illustrate that the past continually reminds us of the future’s failure in the form of haunting.