Scott Reeder has said, "My work almost always starts with language." Even his seemingly least text based works—his pasta paintings, which use pasta as a sort of stencil to create seemingly abstract linear compositions—were inspired when Reeder wrote the sentence "pasta paintings," prior to knowing what it was he was trying to say or do.
In many of Reeder’s paintings and neon sculptures, the written word is exactly what it appears to be: a conveyance of thought, unencumbered by conceptual abstraction. Or is it? Sometimes, he seems to be poking fun at something, as in his painting Alternative Titles for Recent Exhibitions I’ve Seen (2014), or More ideas for a TV show episode or a painting (2017). Other times, he seems to be simply making a direct statement of fact, as in his painting Wall Talk (2012), which prominently features those words, or his neon sculpture Interesting (2018). Funny, ironic, whimsical, critical, and sometimes melancholy, Reeder's works excel first and foremost in the art of understatement.