Opening in September at the Galeria Mexico is a new exhibition by Gem Preiz, featuring more of his remarkable fractal art. Gem kindly sent me a personal invitation to preview the new exhibition ahead of the opening, and I was only too happy to pop along and take a look.
Geometries – Genesis presents a display of two distinct halves bound together by a common theme: humanity’s quests for knowledge and understanding, and where it might eventually lead us.
The first part of the display – Geometries – presents seven pieces of Gem’s art which all of a distinctly linear composition, and which are presented in a white room. Each piece of art is governed by Euclidian rules, such that, as Gem describes them, “the parallel lines join only in the infinity and where the shortest way between two points is the straight line.”
Even without this description, the depth of perspective within each of the pieces on display is clear; one is not so much looking at them as looking into them. It is as if each one is a window looking out over a vista of light and colour; a feeling heightened by some of the pieces having echoes of architecture about them, as if one is looking down upon futuristic high-rise buildings while passing overhead.
Not that the pieces are intended to represent buildings; rather they offer the infinite to us, and as such translate themselves into brightly lit highways stretching off into the future, a window of colour with the promise of knowledge and understanding yet to be found, opening off of the whiteness of all that we have learnt and absorbed to date.
Upstairs, in the second part of the exhibit, we find Genesis, and the differences couldn’t be more apparent. Here, in a blackened room, sit seven more pieces of Gem’s fractal art; these all depicting planets forming against a stellar blanket of stars, sitting under a slowly rotating galaxy, small worlds and Moons painted with images from Google Earth suspended in the spaces between them.
“These pieces,” Gem told me, “evoke the creation mysteries which remain beyond human knowledge, way more complex than our usual geometrical rules.” And they do; each image in this section is deeply evocative. Mathematics and digital processing may have created each of the worlds being formed in the seven paintings, but looking at them, it is hard not to imagine each world cradled in that hands of a Creator, its form being gently shaped and rolled, order emerging from chaos.
The idea of creator runs deeper still. As digital creations, each of these seven worlds has been authored, their creator being the artist himself. Thus the pieces resonate further, the comparisons between the work of the artist and the idea of a creative force behind the very universe itself become interwoven; there is majesty here.
Taken individually, Geometries – Genesis present two remarkable exhibitions of fractal art on their own; together they present a single whole which, while comprising two unique perspectives and styles of painting, are unified in both their form and in their representation of our civilisation-spanning quest to know and to understand, and – as Gem reminds us, the fact that Nature is not so simple to decipher as we may have once thought.
Geometries – Genesis opens on Monday September 1st, and will remain at the Galeria Mexico through until the end of September, alongside a number of other exhibitions hosted at the region-wide gallery as a part of FIAT – the Fine Arts Tour of 2014.