COLOR CHANT: Mel Prest
AUGUST 7 - SEPTEMBER 24, 2015
It is a great pleasure to present COLOR CHANT Mel Prest’s first Bay Area solo exhibition in six years. Known for her vibrant paintings and drawings comprised of stacked or colliding lines, Prest’s recent paintings focus on atmospheric color and light explorations inspired by her three-month residence in Brooklyn last fall. While living on the east coast, Prest became keenly aware of the distinctive qualities of light and color that permeate both New York and San Francisco due to the specific geological and meteorological realities of each place. She noticed the difference between the “blue” autumns of Brooklyn—“melancholy, lightweight and fleeting” —and the “pink” atmospheres of California.
This newfound sensitivity impacted Prest’s color choices and inspired her current body of work. Resonating with the perceived hue of her environment, she works with layered color that moves toward blue or pink. The ground colors are always changing, just as the circumstances of space, light, color, and surroundings change. This constant variability is echoed by the viewer’s experience of Prest’s paintings, which shift according to changes in one’s angle of view or time of day. Like the ever-changing atmosphere, with its uniquely harmonious strata, Prest’s paintings defy singular states and keep us coming back to see more.
About the Artist:
Mel Prest is a San Francisco-based artist, curator and teacher. She has earned a BFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Mills College in Oakland. Prest has been awarded artist residencies at the MH deYoung Museum, The Sam & Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts, The Ragdale Foundation, The Wassaic Artist Residency, and Willapa Bay AiR. She was also an Affiliate Artist at the Headlands Center for the Arts. In 2014 Prest helped create Transmitter, a gallery in Brooklyn, NY where she is a curatorial partner. Her work has been shown nationally, including at The Drawing Center in New York, The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in Summit, and the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, NC.