“I explore the relationship between interior and exterior space, the interior being intimate and personal, the exterior being immense—the universe, the cosmos. My paintings represent the near and the far, the view through a telescope, the view through a microscope, the sheltering sky, the intimate forest.
To call my paintings landscapes would be misleading since they are inventions of my imagination and reference the world of nature rather than depict it literally. Space is organic and time is non-linear—a group of different objects moving through the picture plane at various rates of speed, in opposite directions, some gliding slowly and others whirring as if in a blender. There is a sense that the activity continues outside the borders of the paintings as the forms flirt with the edges or get chopped off by them. Some forms are only just coming into being while others have already 'come out' and some just like to watch.
By virtue of their inability to be fully identified, the objects remain in the realm of the poetic.” — MH
Melinda Hackett was born in New York City. She graduated from Hobart William Smith College and got her MFA at Parsons-New School. She has exhibited widely: at Mark Humphrey Gallery, Peter Marcelle Gallery, and Jeff Lincoln Art and Design, Southampton, NY; Guild Hall and folioeast, East Hampton, NY; Cade Tompkins Gallery, Providence, RI; Odetta Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; The Painting Center, New York, NY; and Scott Richards Contemporary, San Francisco, CA, among others. She has had solo shows at John Molloy Gallery, McGrath Galleries, and Charles Cowles Gallery, New York, NY; Estia Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY; 4 North Main Gallery, Southampton, NY; Thirteen Gallery, Danbury, CT. She is in the permanent collection at The Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY.
Hackett is on the board of the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT, where she is a part-time resident printmaker. She lives in New York City and Southampton, NY.
rotating exhibit of current & recently sold work
MELINDA HACKETT speaks to folioeast’s COCO MYERS
CM/ WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU PRIMARILY USE?
MH/ I work in oil because it gives me the greatest fluidity with color and the space I like to create in my paintings. Also water colors for complete transparency and color. And I always travel with pencils and color pencils.
CM/ CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
MH/ My paintings start very basically with a ground and then I layer up, adding forms as I go. The early stages involve a lot of paper towels as I have to get the transparency of the layers right before I can lay on the forms that float around on the surface.
CM/ WHEN DID YOU FIRST COME TO THE EAST END?
MH/ I came at two weeks old and have never really left.
CM/ WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR ON THE EAST END?
MH/ Winter, when the light is consistent, the trees are bare and the energy hums rather than buzzes.
CM/ DO YOU DO YOUR WORK INSIDE OR OUT?
MH/ I paint in my studio where I have a big window to the outside marsh. I don't need to turn the lights on until it gets dark.
CM/ WHERE DO YOU FEEL MOST INSPIRED?
MH/ The endless stretch of beach is the most inspiring but life on the marsh is pretty great too, with its changing tides and colors.
CM/ DO YOU FEEL A CONNECTION TO THE HISTORY OF THE ART COMMUNITY ON THE EAST END?
MH/ I do. I miss the big legs outside Larry Rivers’ house on Little Plains Road and I wish I had known at the time that Fairfield Porter lived two houses down from my best friend growing up on South Main Street.
CM/ DO YOU HAVE ANY WORKS BY EAST END ARTISTS IN YOUR HOME? IS THERE ANY ARTIST’S WORK YOU WOULD LOVE TO OWN?
MH/ I mostly collect my my friends—a work in progress I hope… but who wouldn't love a de Kooning, a Krasner or a Motherwell hanging over the fireplace?
CM/ ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT YOUR WORK/PROCESS?
MH/ Being an artist is a blessing and a curse . . . but I’m too far in to get out now.