Mel Prest

Instagram: mel_prest_k


Bio: Mel Prest is an American abstract artist whose work is focused on color and perceptual visual relationships. Her work has been exhibited internationally including: The Drawing Center, New York; The Weatherspoon Museum of Art, Durham; IS Projects, Leiden; Saturation Point, London; Nakaochiai Gallery, Tokyo. Prest’s first solo museum show: Mel Prest: The Golden Hour, was held at the Schneider Museum of Art in Ashland, Oregon and featured a catalogue essay by John Yau. Prest has been awarded residencies at The MH deYoung Museum; The Ragdale Foundation; The Sam and Adele Golden Artist Foundation; Willapa Bay AIR; The Wassaic Project; and Vermont Studio Center. Her work is held in collections at Apple; The Berkeley Art Museum; The Crocker Museum of Art; Google; Kaiser Permanente; Marin General Hospital; The Mills College Art Museum, The Schneider Museum of Art; among others. She is represented by Galleri Urbane, Dallas, TX and K.Imperial Fine Art, San Francisco, CA. Prest received her BFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design and MFA from Mills College in Oakland. Mel is an advisory board member of Root Division, a non-profit arts organization in San Francisco and served as a board member from 2012-2014. Prest served on the advisory board of The Art Monastery Project, Calvi della Umbria and Labro, Italy from 2007-2010 and on the artist advisory board of Trestle Gallery in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York from 2012-2021. As an independent curator, Prest has organized shows from Amsterdam to Zagreb. She is a founding member of Transmitter, a collaborative curatorial gallery initiative in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Mel Prest lives and works in San Francisco, CA.

Statement: Informed by the interplay of color phenomena in nature – mirages, iridescence, the diffusion of light at the golden hour before sunset and twilight – I paint works that explore color theory and invite an embodied response. Color transmits sensations that are subjective and synesthetic, conjuring a taste, a touch, a scent, a rhythm. I use fluorescent, metallic, or phosphorescent paint and mica that flickers, glows or is shadowed in changing light conditions to create a dynamic encounter in and with my work. With a limited number of colors composed as a dense series of unruled and overlapping lines, the works appear as a handwoven mesh vibrating above the surface of the canvas; a soft geometry of shifting space.