Finalement: The brush laid to rest

Margit Preis' current last presentation may rightly be considered the final and crowning moment of Hidden Realism's translation into imagery. It is hard to recall any other exposition where Margit Preis has managed in an equally convincing manner to demonstrate the enormous variety of styles she has mastered. Many creative lines of work have culminated here. There is nothing left to add. Completed. Done.
The last in a row of specifically Austrian motifs – its title "schnöke" a play on words on the German term for snail – features an imaginary slime trail taking on the shape of a map of Austria, a spot-on allusion to the current state of affairs in the Alpine Republic. "Lungenflügel" (lungs) marks the end of the body organs cycle, "Lichtpalast" (palace of lights) is an exceptionally delicate rendition of a mandala, while the series of nature scenes culminates in "monkey of thoughts" and "viele Gänseblümchen machen eine Wiese" (a lot of daisies make a meadow). The collage work that has the Vienna Inner City address "Hoher Markt, 1010 Wien" as its title rounds off a series of political statements made by the artist. With "die drei Neffen" (the three nephews) and "Nichte & Tante" (niece and aunt), on the other hand, Margit Preis pays homage to her family, a familiar theme with her in every sense of the word, whereas in "zwischenwelten" (worlds in between) she ventures into the abstract, merging the shadow of the sun with that of the moon.
However, there are three pictures in particular that show us that Margit Preis is never going to stop taking both us and herself on journeys into the unknown and the unexpected:
1. "Bis hin zur Seele" (into the dephts of the soul) masterfully combines movement (a vortex), delicacy (India ink) and brilliant colour (copper pigment) in an image of utter beauty.
2. "Wunderliches Bluten aus allen Wunden" (enigmatic bleeding from all wounds) may be a reference to the stigmata of Francis of Assisi and Padre Pio.
3. "Meisterbrief" (master scroll) tells a monumental tale based on mythical letters … meditalist hieroglyphs for which no Rosetta stone has yet been found.
Back in 1998, when Margit Preis first introduced traditional Balinese painting technique into her work, this may have come as a surprise to many. However, signs and indications that she would one day consider her painting career completed had been discernible for some five years now. When the calm and peace of the Far East, dance and the calling of a teacher all come together in one artist, painting will – sooner or later – cease to be the only suitable approach.
Margit Preis is an excellent listener – it is not a coincidence that her last exhibition featured a work called "schweigen" (silence). Finding a means of expressing herself has long ceased to be a driving force for her. Slowly, but steadily she is progressing along the path of beauty and harmony. Add to this meditation, spontaneity and improvisation as further ingredients and what you end up with is a "Meditalin". Trying to fill this newly coined term with meaning (a Google search will not yet come up with any explanation), we might call to mind the meditation trainer, who is obviously a part of it, then add the definitely feminine aspect of this field of activity, which makes its presence felt in the ending "-in" indicating the female gender in German, and finally merge heartfelt aspirations rooted in both the West and the East:
1. The Beguine movement – lay women living in Christian communities whose spirituality influenced Master Eckhart … High Middle Ages in Europe
2. 1500 years of Shaolin traditions, techniques and movement meditation (the "Meditalin" being, evidently, committed not to martial art, but to the art of listening).
A "Meditalin" has a copious toolbox at her disposal to help her address numerous of issues and – most importantly – she means well by us. We can hardly wait to see which new styles will be developed by an artist who is going to continue to breathe life into the concept of Hidden Realism.

Christian Kniescheck, 2012
P.S. In case you still haven't got a Margit Preis artwork to call your own, don't wait too long. For it is one of the basic rules of the art market that the works of contemporary artists who have put away the tools of their trade for good will become rarities and rapidly gain in value.
Translation by Dagmar Sanjath