Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Peggy Preheim, entitled
the end (final cut). The exhibition will feature a remarkable selection of the artist's exquisite graphite pencil drawings and enigmatic sculptural compositions.
Through intense and intimate renderings of imagery inspired by early found photographs, Preheim explores the passing of time in two dimensions, both historical and mythological. These meticulous and eloquent drawings evoke ideas about our own relationship to the past and future with haunting images inspired by and modified from their disparate sources. For example, in Near Miss 2, the ancient symbol of the Aztec calendar on the Mexican peso note references mythological time, while images of the U.S. founding fathers on the two-dollar bill symbolize secular time and our American collective history.
In Cornerstone, half of a twenty dollar bill is featured on the lower right side of the paper, while a quietly rendered image of a buffalo graces the opposite end of the page, alluding to the Trail of Tears and Andrew Jackson's role in this expulsion. Using personal, found, and historical photographic sources, Preheim investigates the mythmaking aspects of photography; how images signify the passing of time, and in the context of a vintage photograph, how they take on new meaning for modern viewers.
In several works, Preheim makes collage from currency, destroying the traditional worth of this symbolic paper. At the same time, the artist evokes questions about value: personal, social, and artistic. In Snow White, a bald eagle flys overhead while Jackson, his portrait framed and contained in a twenty dollar bill with the American flag removed, watches from below. Using found images from currency notes, normally overlooked due to its mass-reproduction, Preheim isolates and forces us to consider the imagery of, for example, the all-seeing "Eye of Providence," a portrait of Debussy on the French franc, the Aztec calendar, etc.