Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is very pleased to present its tenth solo exhibition with Peggy Preheim. Titled Don't Look Now, the show is comprised of new drawing, sculpture and photography, and takes its title from the 1973 film directed by Nicholas Roeg, starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland. Set on the canals of Venice, the movie explores themes of love and loss and the psychological effects of tragedy, as a couple becomes involved in a mysterious chain of events surrounding the drowning of their daughter. Preheim references the biblical, art historical, mythological, and supernatural symbolism found in the film, and elaborates upon the way that these themes and motifs have been represented in her own past work. At once expanding and refining the scope of Preheim's artistic inquiry these new pieces experiment formally with scale and material while simultaneously delving deeper into familiar topics of importance for Preheim: the imagery of childhood, the passing and cycling of time, familial connection and rupture, and the experience of the natural world. The resulting presentation is both delicate and powerful, and each element is exquisitely rendered.
Known for working on an almost miniature scale, the majority of Preheim's drawings occupy only a small portion of the page, pulling the viewer in, as the eye travels over the blank space to reach an arrestingly detailed figure. In Don't Look Now Preheim heightens this effect by enlarging her surface, using sheets of drawing paper almost four times the size of her signature 14 x 11 inch pieces but keeping the drawings themselves quite small. Preheim describes this shift toward a larger surface as central to the exhibition, explaining, "Don't Look Now explores the relations between the figure(s) and the larger paper in terms of overall meaning as well as scale and perspective. The first drawing in this series, 'Little Princess,' presents an image of a flag. Two key points—the location where the flag pole is planted and the point on which the eagle rests—set the stage for the drawings that follow." Installed in the side gallery as a diptych, "Little Princess" introduces several recurring elements found in subsequent drawings, and in Preheim's sculptures as well. The stars and stripes of the flag are echoed in the constellation surrounding the girls walking together in“Zodiac” and in the striped cloth used in each of the sculptures. Gazing up toward the ornamental eagle which has been separated from its flag post, the girl in “Little Princess” turns away from the viewer, looking toward the interior of the page, as do the figures in “Miss Match” and “Knight Mare.”