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Marcin Maciejowski, Costume. Tadeusz Kantor. Teatr Cricot. 1974, oil on canvas, 2005, 160x180 cm
Marcin Maciejowski

Friday, December 9, 2005 - Saturday, January 14, 2006

Leo Koenig Gallery
545 West 23rd Street, New York, NY Tel: 212.334.6255

New paintings by the Polish artist Marcin Maciejowski can be seen in his first solo exhibition in New York at the Leo Koenig Gallery. Born in 1974, and graduated in 2001 from the Graphic Art Department of the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts, Maciejowski was a founding member of Grupa Ladnie (The Pretty Group), a student collaborative that garnered attention for incorporating the geography and social fabric of the city. Grupa Ladnie presented their work in unusual locations such as empty suburban lots, city billboards and historic landmarks. The artists also created fanzines, comics, magazines, and compilation tapes to disseminate their work. Gruppa Ladnie soon gained international recognition, spawning the success of such artists as Wilhelm Sasnal, Rafal Bujnowski, and Marcin Maciejowski.

Marcin Maciejowski's work, influenced by his study of Graphic Arts and printmaking, employs flat, two-dimensional imagery culled equally from the mass media, pop culture, and art history. For this series of paintings, the artist continues his exploration of male identity, religion, and public policy from a perspective that both highlights and transcends the Polish post-Soviet perspective.

Often blocky and matter-of-fact, the paintings in this exhibition present what at first glance may appear to be banal scenes from contemporary life, but they exude a delight in the sensual qualities of painting. In the works, scenes appear as if interrupted mid-sentence, or perhaps as snippets of stories wafting in and out of earshot at the neighborhood pub. There are a few clues as to what led up to the moment depicted, and no hints as to what may occur in the future. In this way, the paintings are a stream-of-consciousness communication, immersing the viewer immediately into a work that is at once familiar, and yet somehow different. A parallel experiential universe is uncovered, appealing to the viewer through oblique and sometimes absurd humor that belies an often stinging social critique.

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