Figurative Artists Zhenya Gershman and Miriam L. Preissel
Present Their Distinct Visions at Brand Library Art Center

For Immediate Release

LOS ANGELES, CA – Painter Zhenya Gershman and photographer Miriam L. Preissel will be presenting their distinctive approaches to figurative portraiture at the Brand Library Art Center in Glendale. The exhibit, featuring Gershman’s New Paintings and Preissel’s Men in Tutus, opens September 6, with an artist’s talk at 4pm and reception from 5-7pm (both are free and open to the public). The show runs through October 18. The gallery has made a name for itself by consistently showing quality work. It is located at 1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale, CA (818-548-2051).

Both artists draw inspiration from live models. The similarities stop here. Gershman, born in Russia but Los Angeles-based since her teens, paints life-size portraits. “It’s not the figure that preoccupies Gershman,” writes art critic Peter Frank in the catalogue accompanying her exhibition, “so much as it is the person who inhabits the figure, who gives life and meaning to the lump of flesh. Gershman individuates her subjects one from another as much as she can, highlighting the particularities of their faces, the peculiarities of their stances, the irregularities of their bodies and the histories and mysteries suggested by their clothing, no matter how colorful or how scant. Gershman is more a portraitist than a figure painter.”

“What’s Stopping You?” is a question Preissel asks with her art. Preissel rebelled against a tough, blue-collar upbringing to become a visual artist. In her work, she asks others to examine their boundaries. Men in Tutus, a collection of photographs printed on canvas of men as ballerinas, is a stereotype-smashing examination of masculinity and femininity. Volunteer ballet dancers include an R.O.T.C. instructor, a retired elementary school janitor, a tattoo artist and a retired naval commander. The Men in Tutus experience captured the interest of Cine Award-winning, Bucks County, USA, Producer/Director Judith Vogelsang, who is producing a documentary on this series that is scheduled for completion within the year. Vogelsang will be videotaping the September 6th opening.

Gershman is a 2001 recipient of the ALEX award, sponsored by the National Alliance for Excellence. She earned a Master’s degree at Art Center College of Design and is currently teaching at the J. Paul Getty Museum. She has exhibited her work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Bergamot Station, and in The Art Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia. Preissel earned her B.F.A. in Broadcast/Film at Southern Methodist University and works as a film editor in Los Angeles. Her abstract and conceptual photography has been exhibited at Artshare, Los Angeles, and at galleries in Silver Lake, CA, and Salt Lake City, UT during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

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