new-york

Ann Preston

Barbara Toll Fine Arts

This first New York one-person exhibition by California-based Ann Preston revealed the artist to be a master of the quizzical object. The impulse behind her roundelay of sculpture, paintings, and drawings seems to be the transformation of a limited number of formal motifs, which are first reduced to linear elements and then varied according to the different materials and techniques employed. In this case, two motifs predominated: the eye and the profile. The eye, of course, is sexless, while here the profile is sexed in the feminine; indeed, Preston reduces and refines this basic form until it reads as a seductive combination of gentle curves and protuberant lines. Thus, a thin sculpture of Hydrocal made by joining four identical profiles of noses and lips reads as an abstraction, a graceful, subtle compendium of interlocking arcs (Perfect Profile, 1987), while in another work, Eyeball,

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