Max Presneill

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BombFire, 2013 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 84 X 72 Inches
Carlos The Jackal, 2013 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 66 X 62 Inches
Flying High, 2013 Oil On Canvas 60 X 60 Inches
Soul Brothers, 2013 Oil On Canvas 60 X 60 Inches
Bird of Prey, 2013 Oil And Enamel On Lycra 68 X 52 Inches
Orwell, 2013 Oil On Canvas 72 X 60 Inches
Memorial, 2013 Oil And Acrylic On Canvas 60 X 48 Inches
Off Grid, 2013 Cotton, Plastic, Burlap, Camera Tripod 50 Inches High
MASH, 2013 Oil On Canvas 60 X 48 Inches
Conspiracy Theory, 2013 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 84 X 84 Inches
Eulogy, 2013 Oil On Canvas 63 X 84 Inches
Pandom 3, 2013 Oil On Canvas 96 X 84 Inches
Pale Rider II, 2013 Oil On Canvas 96 X 84 Inches
The Whistleblowers, 2013 Oil, Enamel And Foil On Canvas 96 X 96 Inches
Prometheus, 2012 Oil On Canvas 84 X 96 Inches
Raft (Sphinx), 2012 Oil On Canvas 96 X 96 Inches
Leto II, 2013 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 60 X 60 Inches
Goliath, 2013 Oil On Canvas 36 X 36 Inches
Gilgamesh The King, 2013 Oil On Canvas 46 X 48 Inches
Father Figure, 2013 Oil On Canvas 24 X 18 Inches
Diamond Geezer, 2013 Oil On Canvas 46 X 48 Inches
Aphrodite By The Waterhole, 2013 Oil On Canvas 60 X 48 Inches
Hard Scrabble, 2013 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 72 X 60 Inches
Patriot, 2013 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 60 X 72 Inches
The Rest Is Silence, 2013 Oil On Canvas 72 X 60 Inches
Ships In The Night, 2013 Oil On Canvas 72 X 60 Inches
A Shot In The Dark, 2013 Oil On Canvas 72 X 60
Enkidu, 2012 Oil On Canvas 78 X 65 Inches
Bull, 2012 Oil On Canvas 12 X 16 Inches
Lost (like tears in rain), 2012 Oil On Canvas 60 X 87 Inches
Bedroom Ghost, 2012 Oil On Canvas 84 X 72 Inches © artist
Raft, 2010 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 192 X 288 Inches
House, 2011 Oil On Canvas 16 X 12 Inches
The Weight of Doubt (Obama), 2011 Oil On Canvas 14 X 11 Inches
MiniMe, 2011 Oil On Canvas 14 X 11 Inches
Head, 2011 Oil On Canvas 12 X 12 Inches
The Weight of Belief (Custer), 2011 Oil On Canvas 12 X 16 Inches
Huginn and Muninn, 2010 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 48 X 48 Inches
Boldly Gone, 2011 Oil On Canvas 14 X 11 Inches
House, 2010 Oil And Enamel On Canvas
Carry On Cleo, 2010 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 84 X 96 Inches
Emissaries, 2009 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 84 X 96 Inches
MP, 2009 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 96 X 84 Inches
Elaborate Plans, 2010 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 84 X 96 Inches
Glitter In The Dark, 2009 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 84 X 96 Inches
Futurama, 2008 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 20 X 20 Inches
Stargazer, 2008 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 18 X 14 Inches
He Cums In Colors, 2008 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 18 X 14 Inches
Just A Thought, 2008 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 64 X 87 Inches
Moment Of Glory, 2008 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 78 X 65 Inches
Sphinx, 2008 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 64 X 87 Inches
Triad, 2010 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 84 X 96 Inches
Hard Truths, 2009 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 96 X 84 Inches
Still Life, 2009 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 84 X 108 Inches
Billy The Kid, 2008 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 87 X 65 Inches
The Hope Hidden In A Sidelong Glance, 2008 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 72 X 84 Inches
Ti Voglio Bene, Pandora, 2006 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 71 X 84 Inches
Ragnarok, 2008 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 111 X 72 Inches
Timeto, 2008 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 60 X 60 Inches
J-Boy, 2010 Oil And Enamel On Canvas 48 X 48 Inches
Queens of the Cardpack, 2010 Oil And Enamel On Canvas
Quick Facts
Lives in
Los Angeles, CA
Works in
Los Angeles, CA
Representing galleries
Gallery Lara, Tokyo and Durden & Ray, Garboushian Gallery, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles
mixed-media, figurative, conceptual, exhibition/performance

Max Presneill is a Los Angeles based painter and curator who shows throughout the US and internationally. As the Director/Curator of the Torrance Art Museum and the Curatorial Director of ARTRA Curatorial his general artistic concerns are often reflected in his curatorial projects.

What you see here is NOT what you get...

By taking “inaccurate” photographs of my work for publication in catalogs and online, I want to stress the difference between the image and seeing the actual work in the context of a gallery wall — the real-life interaction as opposed to the Digital, online or printed ones. Whether the reproduction is inaccurate due to color differences, shadow or reflecting light, or because it has been partially repainted since the photograph was taken, these photographs separate the real from the copy. The emphasis is on seeing them in the flesh. Anything else is but a shadow on a cave wall.

Updated Statement - October 2014

Following many years as a basically figurative painter, who was interested in the play with abstraction, I came to the realization that the figures caused the viewer to invariably concentrate their attention on the narrative threads implied by those figures, often at the expense of equally important aspects of my work. After careful consideration over a period of about 6 months, and the use of that time to play through various painting projects that I was interested in and needed to finish, I decided to make the leap into purely abstract paintings. I had been very conscious of the work of Cy Twombly and Gunter Forg in particular during this period, as they had both died recently and I was struck by the renewed relevance I saw within their work to new directions I was considering.

The core ideas in my practice have always revolved around notions of mortality, the mark as presence and the decisions and choices in painting that imply a type of existentialism. As an atheist I am concerned with issues to do with the nature of free will and choice and how invested beliefs in our lives allow us fulfillment – as the act of painting, a process of self-defined questions and answers within a larger language system, is inherently. The new paintings concentrate on this act as both a literal thing – the making of a mark of presence, as well as a metaphor for the philosophical position.

This new approach for me also allows for a more direct play with the materiality of painting, which as a painter I find engrossing, just as I love the smell of it. To make of these basic materials, something which can have a rich and complex intellectual depth as well as a visceral thrill is a fantastic experience. The marks are both literal – they are paint to make a painting, they are marks of presence – but they are also allusional and metaphorical.

Another very important thread for me is the possibility of a political awareness engaging the viewer through the process of abstraction. Can these marks be persuasive political commentary? I do not know yet. My hope is that the constant applying of marks and their negation through further marks can act as a reflection of the struggles against Power and the constant battle for supremacy between the People and the interests of Authority. We shall see…

The key word for me over the last year has been REDACTED. This seems to me to tell us what our current relationship to government, corporate structures, et al, is at present. The zeitgeist of our recent times seems to reflect that distrust. I wish to see what happens when I find more ways to address these marks, new ways to present them. What if they are presented in layerings of separate materials? If they are starker, increasingly sparse? What if they present like flags of warring factions? What differences does scale make?

My goal is to push through these experiments to find ways in which this relationship to the political can be reinforced without losing the other key elements outlined above.  I would like to see them have an affect on those they see them. Idealistic? Sure, but worth the attempt. Like the good Doctor in Camus’ The Plague – it is the investment in the belief in the value of doing something, regardless of outcome, because it is worth doing anyway.




upcoming 2015

From The Barricades, Freies Museum, Berlin, Germany 

Angels With Dirty Faces, Hilger Contemporary, Vienna, Austria

Triumvirate, Garboushian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA (solo with catalog)

MAS Attack #8, San Diego Art Institute, CA

Communard, Espace des Arts Sans Frontieres, Paris, France

Pure Paint for Now People, Weber State University Gallery, Utah

LA>>PDX, Duplex Collective, Portland, Oregon

MAS Attack #9, New Institute of Contemporary Art, Tempe, New Mexico



An American Water Margin, UCITY Art Museum, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, China

Anarchy & Other Things To Think About, University Art Gallery, CSU Stanislaus, CA (solo with catalog)

I-23, various sites as part of Yokohama Triennial, Japan - including I See You Never at Launch Pad Gallery and Homing Pigeon 3 at Nitehi Kannai 509 

The Great Wrong Place, Norte Maar, New York, Exchange Rates Expo

Dragnet, Manhattan Beach Art Center, CA

Exquisite Corpse, Mass Gallery, Austin, Texas

MAS Attack #7, Santa Monica Art Studios, CA

The Status of Portraiture, Autonomie, Los Angeles, CA

MAS Attack #5, Creative Albuquerque, New Mexico

Project LALO, Campbell Works Gallery, London, UK

Project LALO, Project Number Gallery, London, UK

MAS Attack #4, Vast Space Projects, Las Vegas, Nevada

Mind the Gap: London- Los Angeles Dialogues, Autonomie, Los Angeles

One For The Road, Hudson Linc Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

MAS Attack #3, Studio 17, San Francisco, CA

LA N CV, Coachella Valley Art Center, CA

In 2040, JAUS, Los Angeles, CA

Singapore Art Fair, with Gallery Lara (Tokyo), Singapore

Year 4, Autonomie, Los Angeles, CA



Marginal Revolutions, KUAD Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey, 13th Istanbul Biennial

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

Sense and Sensibility, 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 Museum of Western Carolina University

Year 3, Autonomie, Los Angeles, CA

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

Critology, Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles

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

200 Clams, XVY Gallery, Los Angeles

MAS Attack #1, LA Mart, 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)

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

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



Glossolalia 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)


Bucharest Biennale 6 - Parallel Events Program Symposium - Apprehension, Global Society and Contemporary Art on the Twitter Generation

Palm Springs Art Fair - Panel Discussion Member

Feitelson/Lundeberg Fellowship Grant - Selection Juror

San Diego Art Institute - Selection Juror

Pepperdine University - lecture

Los Angeles Center for Digital Art - juror

CSU Stanislaus - lecture

GLAMFA - Panel Discussion Member

Redondo Beach Art Show - Juror


Anthology Prize, London, UK - Juror

Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA - Juror

Santa Monica College - Artists and Curating lecture

Western Carolina University Art Museum - Panel Discussion Member

Palm Springs Art Fair - Panel Discussion Member

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


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


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