Bruce Preheim

Artist's Statement

I have a strong history of drawing in my career. I often use drawings as starting points for my paintings, referencing them for ideas in compositions and rhythms. My most recent work has focused upon movement with multiple figures, springing from ideas I had while teaching figure drawing during graduate school a few years ago. My interest with movement also comes from my interest in dance and the martial arts training I am involved in. I am fascinated by movement, patterns, and fluctuating changes of shapes, which I feel take precedence over representative depictions of the human form.

In regard to my multiple figure paintings, I'm drawn to the abstraction found in muscle groupings and how shapes are defined within the figure and the spaces surrounding it. I attempt to capture the essence of the figure's movement without resorting to excessive detail. The changing abstract shapes of a moving figure create interesting rhythms and patterns. I strive for melding movement that comes as a result of color and shape with the movement that comes from recording the figure in motion.

My paintings tend to be large, giving me freedom for more movement in my brushwork and other applications of paint. In addition, the larger size allows me the room to deal with multiple figure arrangements and a greater space to work more aggressively in suggesting gesture and movement of the figures.

I've been influenced by the abstraction found in Willem De Kooning's and Richard Diebenkorn's paintings. I'm influenced by the way Lucian Freud and Jenny Saville treat the subject of the figure. I'm influenced by Franz Kline's direct approach to abstraction and his vigorous gestural way of establishing shape and form.

My hope is that my paintings have both the representational and the abstract working cohesively. Although my paintings have representational elements, those elements are subordinate to abstraction and the formal fundamentals of painting.



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Bruce Preheim 605.624.8833
Last updated 11.1.09