Max Presneill is an artist and curator based out of Los Angeles and is a co-founder of the artist collective, Durden & Ray. His artwork has exhibited around the world, his most recent solo show being Cont-Exis, TWFineArt in Brisbane, Australia. His works have been shown in art fairs like The Armory Show, NYC, and Miami Projects. Presneill is the Director/Head Curator for the Torrance Art Museum as well as the Founder and Curatorial Director of ARTRA Curatorial. Presneill graduated with his MFA from California State University in 2001, his MA at Sheffield Hallam University, UK and his BFA at Sheffield Polytechnic, UK.
Presneill works primarily with oil, spraypaint, and enamel to create large-scale abstract paintings. His artwork is a collection of “performative actions, cognitive strategies, political intent,” exploring the ideas of how paint is used and the artistic decisions for each piece. Like abstract expressionism, Presneill explores emotion, mood, and themes in his abstract paintings. As Presneill states, “when I die my paintings are what will remain. They contain my memories, hopes, and dreams. An identity of sorts…” His abstract paintings hold memory and emotion for the artist, as well as allow the viewer to experience their own emotions.
Presneill’s creative inspirations come from art history, graffiti, and the idea of “accident and design…suppression and control.” His creative process comes from important themes like mortality, presence, and nature. In Presneill’s newer paintings, he investigates the literal and metaphorical meaning of presence. Literal translation meaning that every mark of paint has a physical presence in his paintings, but that “they are also allusions and metaphorical” in the sense that artistic choices “imply a type of existentialism as well as a reflection on our core humans as cognitive animals.”
GOCA’s first exhibition of the 2018-19 season, Collectivity, will investigate points of connection between artists from two significant artist collectives based out of the Western United States – Hyperlink (Colorado) and Durden & Ray (Los Angeles) in concurrent exhibits across two states.