Astrid Preston. For the Trees

2 Sep 2023 – 14 Oct 2023

Regular hours

11:00 – 17:30
10:00 – 17:30
10:00 – 17:30
10:00 – 17:30
10:00 – 17:30

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Having worked with Astrid Preston in the 1980s at Jan Turner Gallery, and then at Craig Krull Gallery since 1999, we have been on a meandering path together through her metaphysical  and ever-evolving landscapes, or more appropriately, her deconstructed interpretations of natural phenomenon. 

Over the years, I have consistently pointed out that landscapes do not exist in nature, they are purely a mental construct.  And, in support of that perspective, Astrid recently wrote, “Quite early I found that working directly from nature was too distracting.” 

Her “landscapes” have always embodied mystery because she is suggesting that something is either  about to happen, something is missing, there are unexpected occlusions, perception is veiled, or ultimately, “ceci n’est pas un paysage.”  In this regard, her new exhibition For the Trees, (i.e. “can’t see the forest for the trees”) is appropriately titled.

These paintings continue her ironically crystal-clear obfuscation with untethered floating geo-orb snowflakes, or rectangular snowflakes seen from a moving car that look like questionnaire boxes that need to be filled in. Fractal webbing is scrimmed over the entire surface of some paintings, implying the natural geometry that unites us all. 

She renders fog as one might expect, in a blur of ambient tones, but it’s not really fog, just look at the next painting and it becomes a three-part grey scale à la Brice Marden. Occasional glowing blips of protoplanets pulse here and there, reminding us that she also supports astronomy research at UCLA, another vast unknown.

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Astrid Preston


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