ASTRID PRESTON: Birdwatching
TERRY BRAUNSTEIN: Time Bound
April 11- May 16, 2009
Reception: April 18, 4-6pm
In 2007, David Bungay’s first exhibition at Craig Krull Gallery consisted of bold, rugged watercolors of the High Sierra and Wyoming that appear to be built or constructed in the manner of synthetic cubism or Marsden Hartley. As the artist has stated, his paintings have a solid, elemental quality that comes from “making a reduction to deal with the complexity.” The seascapes in his upcoming exhibition are equally forceful and direct. The undulations of incoming waves are literally formed by three-dimensional shapes protruding from under the canvas. The “rollers” are then painted with simple zebra stripes so that the wave is both concretized by its most fundamental patterns, as well as viscerally experienced through an actual swell on the canvas that even casts its own shadow. The most striking aspect of these paintings though, is achieved in the arc shape at the bottom of the canvas that embodies the form of a shore-breaking wave. Mounted below the wave is a combination of mirror, paint and pebbly shower door material that reflects light up into the wave creating not simply an illusion, but an actual light and space experience. Bungay is unconventional and his work is always raw, unpretentious and gets to the crux of visual sensation.
Concurrently, Astrid Preston will exhibit a series of thirty small paintings of birds. Over the years, her work has addressed our dual relationship with nature, both the wild as well as the cultivated. This perspective is equally evident in her bird paintings. These intimate works suggest a very personal affinity for the creatures, but are also the result of bird “watching” and interpretation from the quiet remove of the studio. For Preston, nature has always had symbolic or perhaps transcendental qualities. Birds represent re-birth, growth, and good luck as well as being harbingers of spring.
Finally, the gallery will also present an installation by Terry Braunstein, an artist recognized for her work in photomontage and “book sculpture.” The installation, entitled Time Bound, is a multi-media assemblage of paper cutouts, wire and dollhouse furniture that manufactures what the artist calls a “RearWindow world.” The eight-foot long tableaux houses tiny inhabitants who go about their business in adjacent rooms without walls. In one scenario, a middle-aged man with one foot stuck in a trashcan fixates on a globe behind a gate. As former LACMA curator Howard Fox observes, the thematic content of Braunstein’s work, birth, childhood, coming of age, life and death are, like Joseph Cornell’s work, communicated “not through instruction or exposition to the viewer, but in cajoling the viewer to discover such content for him or herself.” Concurrent to her show at Craig Krull, a retrospective of Braunstein’s work will be presented at El Camino College from March 30 – May 1, 2009.