March 7 - April 11, 2015
Reception: Saturday, March 7, 4-6PM
Gallery Talk: Saturday, March 28, 10am
RSVP by March 27
Astrid Preston’s work is testament to the fact that landscapes do not exist in Nature but rather, only in the mind’s eye. While her images employ elements of place, they are also reconstructions that manifest personal perspectives or conceptual themes. In this way, she is a kindred spirit to Edward Hicks and his Peaceable Kingdoms, Giorgio de Chirico and his vacant metaphysical piazzas, and René Magritte and his surreal scenarios. On Reflections, the title of Preston’s new group of paintings, refers to her subject matter, but it also suggests her cerebral processing and interpretation of nature. The ponds at Descanso Gardens in Southern California and Monet’s garden at Giverny, France serve as inspiration to her meditations. In fact, these gardens and the idea of gardens in general, are aesthetic re-creations, idyllic ideals, the Plato’s Cave of Nature. Our expulsion from the Garden of Eden is symbolic of our disconnect with a Nature that we are perpetually attempting to re-establish. Within the artifice of a garden, Preston has chosen to focus on reflections, not the trees and plants themselves, but shimmering mirror images of them. As in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There, Astrid Preston’s paintings explore the other side of the mirror, the reality that we construct in our minds. In this body of work, her handling of paint continues to evolve, absorbing elements of Milton Avery’s washy daubs and Charles Burchfield’s wiggly wormy lines. She has also introduced seemingly anomalous molecular-web balls that drift throughout her landscapes, suggesting the eye floaters in one’s field of vision, or even our scientific attempts to understand the basic structure of all things.