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Max Presneill

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Lives in
Los Angeles, CA

Works in
Los Angeles, CA


Representing galleries
Beverly Hills, Gallery Lara, Tokyo and Durden & Ray, Garboushian Gallery, los angeles

exhibition/performance, conceptual, figurative, abstract, mixed-media


Max Presneill is an artist and curator. His paintings are represented by Garboushian Gallery, Beverly Hills and Durden and Ray Fine Art, Los Angeles. He has exhibited at museums, institutes and galleries in London, New York, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Mexico City, Sydney, Istanbul, Paris, as well as numerous projects throughout the US.
He is currently the Head Curator at the Torrance Art Museum and Director of ARTRA Curatorial and was the Founder and former Director of Raid Projects in Los Angeles (1998-2008) and from 2005-8 he was the Director/Curator for the Mark Moore Gallery.

Artist Statement

"My paintings, which I am in constant ever-evolving and changing dialogue with (being painted over again and again) are an attempt to seek answers to questions that motivate my search - be it from popular culture, art history, existential crises, or the relationships and drives in my life - whatever. What counts is the questions themselves and finding suitable responses, hence the need to make another painting...."

These new Chess paintings explore the nexus at which Power, Art, History, Language, the Subjective and the Political meet to form new meanings in an ongoing and fluid game of Machiavellian intrigue and social memories which reflect upon the boundaries to freedom, democracy, civil rights and liberties through the veil of the past and into the future. The paintings inter-relate in a game which uses cognitive processes and knowledge based understandings to create networks of meaning, of probabilities, of recreated relationships that reconsider the current social climate in which we are caught up in.

"Utilizing sources from the Internet, photographs from my own life, art historical references, multiple other resources and intuitive decision making when painting, I reflect upon the relationship between fact and fiction as well as past and present. Within reconstructed histories and mythologized experiences, the forged connections that play between remembering and invention act as considerations of the nature of reality, power and self-identity. In the end the highly abstracted paintings are the remnants and evidence of the cognitive, problem-solving nature of painting and the human experience, or at least mine…"

The current work of Max Presneill explores the notion of the Self and its relationship to others, memory, the political, shared cultural histories and the generation of meaning. By sourcing from areas of Presneill's own past, his personal obsessions and culturally shared phenomena and histories, the paintings seek to address issues of attention, interpretation, facticity, the politics of representation and the generation of meaning.

The narrative elements allude to situations, both specific and general, factual and imagined, that also place the importance of the act of painting within a set of existential, self-affirmed constructions of reality and value. Isolated, de-contextualized or reconfigured, they singularly float in a river of uncertainty, like our own reflection in a mirror, somewhat familiar but not quite our ‘self’, what is seen differing from what is felt. The hermetic subjective experience and shared cultural expressions constantly oscillate between understanding and illegibility, with a sense of melancholic loss and moments of celebration. They exist within the gaps between things as both personal story and political metaphor.

The Cloud

Presneill has often shown his smaller paintings in groupings referred to as 'the cloud'. This 'cloud' contains multiple canvases that act, by the location of their installation and in reference to each other and the sequence of their placement, as extended narratives that are inclusive of source materials taken from autobiographical sources, the Internet, literature and the history of art, amongst other places. They exist in a fluid interchangeable relationship that allows them to be renewed with each showing, to have some removed and some replaced, with no set number of pieces and no continuous 'members' within the grouping - in line with changing focal points of interest to the artist, to establish new ways of reading the material thus reflecting ongoing concerns and engagements.

Selected exhibitions


Campbell Works Gallery, London, UK

Ucity Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, China


Marginal Revolutions, KUAD Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey

The Familiar Unfamiliar, with Manual History Machines, Joshua Tree, CA

Sense and Sensibility: Behind The Scenes, Mt San Antonio College Art Gallery, CA

Marooned, JAUS, Los Angeles, CA

Overload, Garboushian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA

Hong Kong Art Fair, with Gallery Lara (Tokyo), Hong Kong

The Interior Forest, with Alexandra Grant, 18th St Arts, Santa Monica, CA

Unsolved Mysteries, POST, Los Angeles, CA

Critology: Art Works of the Critic/Writer/Curator, Art Museum of Western Carolina University

ConFiguring LA: What's The Story, POST, Los Angeles, CA

Critology: Art Works of the Critic/Writer/Curator, Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles

MAS ATTACK 2, Torrance Art Museum, CA

Savage Sentimentality (part 2), Autonomie, Los Angeles, CA

200 Clams, XVY Gallery, Los Angeles


CO/LAB II, at Art Platform Art Fair, With Durden & Ray, Los Angeles, CA

The New Cool School, White Box Contemporary, San Diego, CA

The Captain's Tale (BH) OR The Liminal Egyptian, Garboushian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA (solo with catalog)

The Captain's Tale (New Bedford) - From Mocha to Moby, New Bedford Art Museum, Vault Series (solo)

Painting On Edge:Redux, D.E.N Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA

Savage Sentimentality, Modified Arts, Phoenix, Arizona

Do Not Go Gentle, Da Vinci Gallery, LACC, Los Angeles, CA

Hong Kong Contemporary Art Fair, with Gallery Lara (Tokyo), Hong Kong

You Sunk My Battleship!, Autonomie, Los Angeles, CA 

The Gang's All Here, Central Utah Art Center, Utah

Center Of The Universe, Raid Projects, Los Angeles

Painting On Edge, Autonomie, Los Angeles, CA

House, Billet & Happ, Los Angeles

Either Side of Gray, PS Zask Gallery, Rolling Hills, CA

TCT (Santa Monica), Art@Michael's, Santa Monica, CA (solo)

Year II, Autonomie, Los Angeles, CA

99, Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA

Artist's Tower of Protest, LA><ART, Culver City, CA

Monster Drawing Rally, The Armory Center, Pasadena, CA

Doubt, Contemporary Art Space, Riverside, CA

Dig, Concord Project, Los Angeles, CA

Oasis, Shangri-La, Joshua Tree, CA

Beyond Nowness, McNish Gallery, Oxnard College, Oxnard, CA


CO/LAB at Art Platform Art Fair, with Durden & Ray, Los Angeles, CA

La Cosa Nostra, Rheeway Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Role Reversal, Jose Drudis-Blada Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Vertigo, at 12th Floor Gallery, LA Mart, with Durden & Ray, Los Angeles, CA

You First, curated by UFORA, OCCCA, Santa Ana, CA

Re:Present, at 12th Floor Gallery, LA Mart, with Durden & Ray, Los Angeles, CA 

Chain Letter, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA

Film:Shorts, Mark Moore Gallery (a D&R video project), Culver City, CA

13th Grade, POST, Los Angeles 

Social Being, Hudson/Linc, San Pedro, CA

Polemically Small, curated by Edward Lucie Smith, Garboushian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA

Future Perfect, Beautiful Decay, Los Angeles (print version)

Los Angeles Art Show art fair, with Garboushian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA

Eagle Rock 9th Annual Art Auction, Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, CA

Year One, Commonspace and Raid Projects, Los Angeles, CA

LACE Annual Auction, LA Mart, Los Angeles, CA

Clare Foundation, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA


Glossalalia and Other Stories, Garboushian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA (solo with catalog)

L_ove A_lways, Galerie Lara, Tokyo, Japan

A Scattered Thought, POST, Los Angeles, CA (with Jason Ramos)

The Bigger Picture, Edgar Varela Projects, Los Angeles, CA

San Diego Art Fair, with Durden & Ray Fine Art, San Diego, CA

Durden & Ray Presents, Phantom Galleries, Long Beach, CA

Nice To Meet You, Sloan Fine Art, New York

Economy of Gesture, Performing Public Space Project for Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), CA


Here, Now, Us, ARTRA, Los Angeles, CA (catalog)

RPLA, Raid Projects, Los Angeles, CA

Invisible Empire, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands 

On The Shoulders of Davids, JAUS, Los Angeles, CA

Rant, Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood, CA

PS 1999 – 2009, Kunstruimte09, Groningen, Netherlands

Manifestations, Carl Berg Projects, West Hollywood, CA

Psychic Hearts, La Verne University Gallery, La Verne, CA

Doin’ It, Kruglak Gallery, Mira Costa, CA

Tupajumi, Hudson Museum, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Gunshow, Space B, New York City


Traces of When, Raid Projects, Los Angeles, CA

“um…My, gallery”, The Brewery Arts Complex, Los Angeles, CA

From Similar Origins to Remarkable Visions, Main Art Gallery, CSUF, Fullerton, CA

Plush, Eagle Rock Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, CA


Wish List, Freight & Volume, New York City (solo)

ANFSCD, La Estacion Arte Contemporaneo, Chihuahua, Mexico (solo)

artLA Art Fair, Los Angeles, with Raid FC


Sex Sells, Red House Gallery, Venice Beach, CA (as part of artLA)


Quickening, MOCA, Tuscon, AZ

Just Visiting, Huntington Beach Art Center

artLA. The LA art fair, LA, with Raid Projects

A Warlike People, M Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona, curated by Lara Taubman

Register The Distance, Borusan Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey, curated by Beral Madra (curator of Istanbul Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2005 and 2 previous Istanbul Biennials, with catalog)


The Armory Show, New York

LA Driveby Part 2, MOP Gallery, Sydney, Australia

LA Driveby Part 1, Kyubidou Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Network, De Parel, Amsterdam, Netherlands (catalog)

Nexus 1 by nTOPIA, Art and Idea, Mexico City

PLA, Raid Projects, Los Angeles


Turschlusspanik, Kontainer Gallery (now Nicodim Gallery), LA (solo)

Midas, POST, Los Angeles

Raid In Chicago, Standard Gallery, Chicago

Scope Art Fair, Standard Hotel, Los Angeles

Tinsel Town, Domestic Setting, Los Angeles

Images of Desire 2, Winston Hotel, Amsterdam

Fragment, PS Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Miniatures, Kyubidou Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (catalog)

The Stray Show Art Fair, Chicago

GAP, SCA Gallery, Pomona, CA (solo)


Curatorial Market, Cuchifritos Gallery, New York (catalog)
Images Of Desire, Fields Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cross Currents, Deutsch Bank, London, UK
Dreamcatcher, RA Gallery, Kiev, Ukraine
The Stray Show Art Fair, Chicago
Glamour Trip So Soon To Slip, Sheehan Gallery, WA (catalog)
Animal Instinct, Cerritos College Gallery, CA
GIANT, Three Mills Studio, London, UK


Travails, West Gallery, Fullerton, CA (solo)
100% Rag, POST, LA
Ever Since Icarus, Lord Mori Gallery, Chinatown, LA (catalog)
New Video, Gallery Hana, Austin, TX
For Example, Acuna Hansen Gallery, Chinatown, LA
Rising Tide, O.C. Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA (catalog)
Su-Su-Superego, San Bernadino College Gallery, CA
Sound And Vision, Program 12, LA


Logocentricity, Cypress College Gallery, CA (solo)
Phase 3, EGCA Gallery, Santa Ana, CA
Wall Space, Miller Durazo Gallery, LA
10 Degrees Of Abstraction, Biola University Gallery, LA
Strangeland, Andrew Shire Gallery, LA (with Martin Durazo)
Intraconnections, Don O’Melveny Gallery, LA


Desire, Eye Five Gallery, LA (catalog)
Strange Bedfellows, Webster Gallery, Santa Ana, CA (solo)
Simon Rondelet International Video Art Show, The Bullet Museum, New York
Land Of Extreme Happiness, SMAC Truck Show, LA (catalog)


10th Annual Juried Show, Irvine Fine Arts Center, CA
IV, EGCA Gallery, Santa Ana, CA


BLOC, Workstation Gallery, Sheffield, UK
Contemporary Diversions, Clocktower Gallery, Sheffield, UK


Spellbound, Octagon Center, Sheffield, UK (solo)
SCAT, The Mappin Gallery, Sheffield, UK
Stockport Open, Stockport City Art Gallery, UK


Derby Open, Derby City Art Gallery, UK
Scattered, Doncaster City Art Gallery, UK


Morbid Symptoms, Leeds Metro University Gallery, UK
Pullit 8, Pullit Gallery, London, UK
Brute Farce, Yorkshire Art Space, Sheffield, UK (with Craig Knight)
Climate, Cool Tan Gallery, London, UK

Seminars/Lectures/Panels (2000-present)


Anthology Prize, London, UK - Juror

Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA - Juror

Santa Monica College - Artists and Curating

Western Carolina University Art Museum - Panel Discussion

Palm Springs Art Fair - Panel Discussion

Lake Elsinore Arts Group - Professional Practice lecture

Redondo Beach Arts  - lecture, Contemporary Art


Curatorial Director – Co/Lab Art Fair at Art Platform Los Angeles

TEDx Talks, Redondo Beach, CA - lecture

California Community Foundation Grant, selection panel member

Juror - Korean Cultural Center Annual Open, Los Angeles

Juror - Central Utah Art Center, Utah

California Association of Museums, Panel Speaker

Juror - Long Beach Art Gallery, CA

CSU Long Beach – visiting artist lecture and critique

Palos Verdes Art Center – lecture

University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - visiting artist lecture and critique


Curatorial Director – Co/Lab at Art Platform

Museum of Contemporary Art Schunck, Heerlen, Netherlands - Panel member 'Art and Interactivity, Art and Social Engagement'

University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - Contemporary Art lecture

Co-curator - Polemically Small, with Edward Lucie-Smith, at Garboushian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA

Co-curator - Connection Point London, with Edward Lucie-Smith, at Bow Arts Trust, London, UK

Juror - Long Beach Arts Open

PSZask Gallery - panel discussion, Sculpture in CA, with Peter Frank

Torrance Arts Council - lecture, Curating Today

Claremont Graduate University - career fair advisor

Pomona College - lecture, Self Portraiture in Painting.


Founder of Durden & Ray, artists collective

American Association of Museums Annual Conference – panelist for ‘On the Road: Ephemeral Exhibits and The Visitor Experience’

Contemporary Art Roundtable, organized by CERA, at Pasadena Museum of California Art

City of Los Angeles Public Art Selection Panel for Metro system


Founder and Director of ARTRA Curatorial

CSU Los Angeles, CA – Professional Practices lecture 


CSU Long Beach, Long Beach, CA – Professional Practices lecture

Biola University, La Mirada, CA - Professional Practices lecture

Arts Legion, Pomona, CA

Contributing writer for PILOT 3, London, UK

Mira Costa College – Professional Practices lecture series


 McColl Center for Visual Art, Charlotte, NC – AIR Selection Committee

 PULSE Art Fair Selection Committee (with Mark Moore Gallery)


 ResArtis, Berlin – International Symposium of Alternative Art Spaces

 Borusan Gallery, Istanbul – Current Practices in Los Angeles

 NOVA Art Fair, Chicago -  Selection Committee

 Contributing writer/curator for PILOT 2, London, UK

 Contributing writer for Rim Magazine


 Contributing writer/curator for PILOT 1, London, UK

 The Chiellerie, Amsterdam – lecture on contemporary art

 Lost and Found, Amsterdam – presentation of my painting practice

 The Walters Museum, Baltimore – workshop for painting

 Contributing writer for Rim Magazine


 Board of Directors, Los Angeles Arts Association

 Goldsmiths College, London, UK - tutorials

 The Stray Show, Chicago Art Fair – panel discussion on State of the Arts

 Claremont Graduate University, CA – Artists As Curator lecture


 Art critic for Mad Dogs and Englishmen Magazine

 Manchester Metropolitan University, UK – My Painting Practice and Curating lecture

 The Art Kitchen, Amsterdam, NL – Los Angeles Today lecture

 Irvine Fine Arts Center Development Forum Member 

 OC High School for the Arts, Santa Ana, CA – lecture & workshops

 The Spurgeon Experience Symposium, Santa Ana, CA – panel discussion with     

 Christopher Miles, Mary Kay Lombino, Tyler Stallings 

 The Art Crowd, Irvine, CA – presentation of my painting practice


Recent Exhibits

Max Presneill participated in these exhibits:

Jun, 2014 WATCHMEN Panel Discussion
Torrance Art Museum
Feb, 2014 LA n CV Closing Reception
Coachella Valley Art Center
Feb, 2014 In 2040.....
Feb, 2014 In 2040.....
Feb, 2014 In 2040.....
Feb, 2014 LA N CV
Coachella Valley Art Center
Click here to see all exhibits for Max Presneill
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