These same ideas are very much at play in “Surface Tension,” Jennifer Presant's exhibit in the Project Space in which her meticulous, surrealistic oil paintings unite her interest in the human psyche as expressed through the experience of place and the complexity of memory, recollection, projection and reality. Each painting is a psychological landscape that seeks to reinforce the fluid relationships between time, memory, place and identity. Many of the paintings combine views from outside and inside, merging the two as a metaphor for a transient state of mind. With an artistic training in figurative realism and a background in graphic design, a strong graphic aesthetic emerges in some of the works. Different seasons, unreal environments, beds and bedroom furniture surface in many of the works and reinforce the idea of a waking dream and a disorientation. They also elude to a slightly voyeuristic feeling of looking in or out at other spaces and people's lives and the human condition of never quite being present or in one place in body and mind. A strong sense of absence is present in both Presant’s and Woodward’s work wherein the objects themselves, instead of a human form, both create and open up the narrative, leaving viewers with new places to contemplate based on their own perceptions and realities.
Jennifer Presant received her BFA from Washington University in St. Louis and her MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2002. She has been showing at the gallery for several years as well as galleries throughout the United States and abroad. Her work can be found in numerous private collections and publications, including New American Paintings, No. 80 covering the Northeast. Presant lives and paints in NYC and teaches in the foundation program at Queensborough Community College.