‘Paintings about everything and nothing’ includes the Shop Front series derived from Preece’s recurring interest in painting the urban landscape from direct observation.
Preece’s strength in composition is influenced by his early studies at the Slade School of Art but by taking a straight-on view of a building façade, in the Shop Front series, Preece has found his composition. A number of paintings are set at night- time with illuminated interiors and signage, or reflected streetlight heightening the contrast between the darkness and bold flat plains of colour.
The paintings are typically unpopulated, excluding the painting ‘Mannequins’ (2014), of course. The empty and static scenes, once busy with pedestrians, might suggest, to some, a narrative that has continued off stage.
Extract from essay by Andrew Gwilliams