Unexpected echoes

After a month of pouring concrete and waiting for the forms to set, Dutch artist Avery Preesman opened his exhibit with a reception at the Renaissance Society last Sunday. Dozens of black-clad guests examined the series W68/Westpunt 68 (2000–06), a group of photographs crudely painted over with thick black ink, and circumnavigated Staketsel Floor Sculpture (2006), a massive, concrete-filled installation of unfinished plywood boards, before moving on to other installations and three silver paintings with raised designs.

The geometric angles of the floor-sculpture plywood mirrored the lines in the painted-over photographs and the angular projections of Choir (2006), a sand-cement sculpture extending across the windows. The lines of the artwork even seemed to reflect the scaffolding holding up the gallery’s lights. In a public talk with curator Hamza Walker, AB'88, Preesman admitted the motif was unintentional. “All these works function for myself as autonomous,” he said, but “for me that is something to see now, that this thing echoes.”

Resisting questioners who described his sculptures as "neutral toned," Preesman made a case for the suggestive quality of gray, arguing that "the color of concrete expresses something different than the weight." As to whether he was truly a painter or a sculptor, Preesman replied, "you should have your own rules, otherwise you cannot conceive anything."

Jenny Fisher, ’07

SCS_thumb.jpg StaketselCU_thumb.jpg PreesmanWalkerCloser_thumb.jpg

Photos (left to right): Choir extends from the windows above Staketsel Floor Sculpture; a closeup of Staketsel Floor Sculplture; Preesman (left) and Walker (right) discuss the show.

September 22, 2006