Preston Gaines' Post-Natural Landscape Presented at UH Mitchell Center

The University of Houston's Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts announces "Post-Natural Landscape," an illuminating summer exhibition presenting works by the center's Artist in Residence Preston Gaines. The exhibition is sponsored in coordination with UH's Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design and the Blaffer Art Museum with generous support for the reception by Saint Arnold Brewing Company.

Preston Gaines is a Houston-based artist, architect and industrial

designer known for his exploration of technology and the natural world.

Running from June 21 to July 31, 2023, "Post-Natural Landscape" is the culmination of Gaines' innovative exploration of the intricate relationship between humans, technology and the environment during his 2022-23 artist residency. The exhibition reflects Gaines' active engagement with the local community and innovative experimentation with new materials and techniques.

These works are a manifestation of the "Post-Natural Landscapes" theory, a concept that has been adopted in architectural and environmental discourse that acknowledges extensive human influence on the environment and suggests that the untouched nature we once knew has been replaced with landscapes transformed by human intervention and technological advancement.

"This exhibition is a meditative exploration of the complex interplay between nature and technology," Gaines said. "It encourages introspection about our current trajectory and challenges viewers to contemplate how their actions are influencing the future of our planet."

An opening reception June 21 at the Hines College of Architecture and Design Mashburn Gallery will offer guests the opportunity to interact with Gaines and enjoy refreshments provided by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts and Saint Arnold.

"Preston Gaines' work is a compelling convergence of architecture and fine arts that stimulates vital conversations about our evolving relationship with the environment," said Dietmar Froehlich, associate dean of the Hines College of Architecture and Design. "We are excited to host 'Post-Natural Landscape,' a thought-provoking exploration of our post-natural era."

Alongside works in the Mashburn Gallery, the exhibition extends to the Blaffer, where two sculptures will be displayed inside the museum and one sculpture will be located in the museum's courtyard. The idea is to create a cohesive narrative between the two locations, allowing visitors to engage with Preston's work in both indoor and outdoor settings.

Gaines' "Nature's Substance" sculpture.

The sculptures at the Blaffer, titled "Rust Garden: A Triad Harmony," symbolizes the significance of the number three in the world, such as the cycle of life, decay and rebirth in nature, or the three primary colors.

Preston Gaines, also known by his artist name Inanimate Nature, is a Houston-based artist, architect and industrial designer signed with Barbara Davis Gallery. Known for his innovative exploration of technology and the natural world, his work spans across sculpture, projection mapping and interactive installations, challenging and expanding traditional artistic norms.

Who: "Post-Natural Landscape," an exhibition by artist and UH Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts Artist in Residence Preston Gaines

What: Opening reception of exhibition with Gaines

Where: Mashburn Gallery, first floor of Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design, 4200 Elgin St., Houston, TX 77204 (Map).

When: Wednesday, June 21 6:30 – 9 p.m.

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