Avery Preesman's work makes the term "organic" relative. His paintings and sculptures naturalize our relationship to what can only be called a forest of signs, confirming the extent to which what we see and how we see it are in fact already abstract. Based on formal impressions of quotidian and personal subjects, Preesman's brand of abstraction is very open-ended. The elements of his work tend to be spare, their relationships simple, and the handling of materials highly tactile. Although the work is staunchly abstract, it is hardly autonomous, welcoming an engagement with architecture and unafraid to court idiosyncratic narratives. A quirky mixture of the symbolic and diagrammatic, Preesman's geometry is of the humanist variety where rationality is not privileged over expression, no matter how consuming the preoccupation with form and structure.
This book, elegantly designed by the acclaimed Dutch typographer Walter Nikkels, is a companion publication to two exhibitions collaboratively organized by The University Gallery at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and The Renaissance Society. These were the first exhibitions of Preesman's work in the United States. This book documents both The University Gallery's survey of Preesman's body of work to date, and his new works presented by the Renaissance Society, including several site-specific pieces.
Co-published with The University Gallery, University of Massachusetts.
2008, Softcover, 111 pgs., 82 color, 1 b/w illus.