“New Territory” Opens At Craig Krull Gallery Saturday Through March 2

Friday, 25 Jan 2013, 9:09:00 AM

Mitch James

Astrid Preston, Tapestry of Spring, 2012, oil on panel, 16 x 16”
Image Courtesy Of The Artist
Astrid Preston, Tapestry of Spring, 2012, oil on panel, 16 x 16”

Craig Krull Gallery at Bergamot Station opens a new exhibition Saturday featuring the work of Astrid Preston that runs through March 2.

An opening reception is scheduled for Saturday afternoon from 4-6 p.m.

Since her last exhibition at the gallery in 2010, Preston’s work has traveled further than during any other period in her career.

Entitled, “New Territory,” these paintings on wood and linen are influenced by traditional Japanese painting, as well as that culture’s reverence of Nature.

Using an analogy of ceramics, she calls it a shift from refined porcelain to raku.

Whereas her previous work focused on the construction of mazes, topiaries and infinitely complex geometries of leaves and branches, Preston’s new work opts for a more organic interaction with natural forces.

Many of the paintings are on raw wood panels, and Preston allows those patterns of wood growth to suggest directions for her paint and compositions. Sometimes she applies washes of thin paint, letting the wood grain become ripples on the surface of water.

In the painting, Thirsty Sun, a palette knife is boldly employed to create a thick, deeply textured reflection, thus evoking a more visceral tangibility of light.

In this way, Preston’s response to nature combines both Eastern and Western traditions.

Her awareness of natural patterns is akin to a finely raked rock garden, while her Expressionist materialization of sensibility is as fundamental as Adolph Gottlieb’s sun and ground abstractions.

Craig Krull Gallery is located at 2525 Michigan Ave. B3 (Bergamot Station), Santa Monica.

For more information, call 310.828.6410 or visit craigkrullgallery.com.

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