June 26 - August 7, 2004
Noho Modern is proud to present “James Prestini – Steel Constructions.” The exhibition focuses on James Prestini’s work in steel of the late 1960s. This marks the second venue for the exhibition, which represents the first exhibition of many of the featured works. All of the sculptures in the exhibition have been obtained directly from Mr. Prestini’s estate. An opening reception will be held on June 26, 2004, from 6 to 9 p.m., and the show will run through August 7, 2004.
James Prestini is best known for his early work in turned wood objects from the 1930s and 1940s. He developed a vernacular of thin-walled wooden vessels that appeared as useful objects, but instead were conceived as works of art. Prestini believed that the artist’s use of technology and machines to create was not inconsistent with the traditional role of the artist as craftsman and technician. Instead, he believed that an artist for the industrial age must utilize science and machines to create an art that resonates with mankind.
The works in the exhibition, comprised entirely of standardized industrial structural elements (I-beams, H-beams, channels and tubes), are nickel plated, polished, and finished with great precision through industrial processes intended to obliterate entirely the hand of the artist from the work. Visually, the forms and surfaces are pure refinement. The highly polished planes define and reflect the space around them. They exhibit symmetry and surface perfection akin to Prestini’s most exalted wooden vessels, but with scale impossible to achieve in turned wood. The steel constructions that make up the current exhibition are the product of Prestini’s unique combination of skill and experience as artist, designer, engineer and scientist, the ultimate culmination of his lifelong fascination with the use of technology and machines in art.
NOHO MODERN is a gallery of 20th Century decorative and fine arts. Its proprietors, Thomas Hayes and Jeremy Petty, chose to locate the space in the NOHO arts district in late 2002 and are pleased to present the second major exhibition at the gallery. The first, an exhibition of the early work of Los Angeles hard-edge painter June Harwood, took place in late 2003. The gallery is intended to present the works of emerging and established artists from the 20th century through the present, and original modern furnishings and accessories.
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