Marcin Maciejowski Marcin Maciejowski

Marcin Maciejowski

Polish
b. 1974
/

Overview

'I am rooted in the here and now. I comment on our times, customs, values and the culture of the 20th and 21st century.'

One of Poland's best-known contemporary painters, Marcin Maciejowski first came to international prominence as part of the Grupa Ładnie (Pretty Group), alongside fellow students from the technical university in Kraków. He explains that the group 'used joking and triviality instead of imitating pompous school teaching' to achieve an honesty and accessibility in painting that helped revitalise the medium in Poland. A chronicler of everyday life and keenly attuned to art history, he sources his imagery from a variety of media – including newspapers, television, advertising and his own photographs – depicting scenes that range from the seductive to the mundane.

The social and political implications of Maciejowski's source photographs are retained in his painted versions and brought into focus through the change in medium. These found images are translated into a unique painterly idiom that reflects his background in graphic art. He combines a comic-book aesthetic with the meticulous realism of Old Master paintings to present an enigmatic form of social commentary. Personal scenes appear alongside those with broader public significance, although his works evade any explicit narrative. The artist often equates political rhetoric with the platitudes of an art critic to question the role of contemporary art in society.

One of Poland's best-known contemporary painters, Marcin Maciejowski first came to international prominence as part of the Grupa Ładnie (Pretty Group), alongside fellow students from the technical university in Kraków. He explains that the group 'used joking and triviality instead of imitating pompous school teaching' to achieve an honesty and accessibility in painting that helped revitalise the medium in Poland. A chronicler of everyday life and keenly attuned to art history, he sources his imagery from a variety of media – including newspapers, television, advertising and his own photographs – depicting scenes that range from the seductive to the mundane.

The social and political implications of Maciejowski's source photographs are retained in his painted versions and brought into focus through the change in medium. These found images are translated into a unique painterly idiom that reflects his background in graphic art. He combines a comic-book aesthetic with the meticulous realism of Old Master paintings to present an enigmatic form of social commentary. Personal scenes appear alongside those with broader public significance, although his works evade any explicit narrative. The artist often equates political rhetoric with the platitudes of an art critic to question the role of contemporary art in society.

Maciejowski's work is represented in distinguished public collections, including the Belvedere, Vienna; Volpinum Kunstsammlung, Vienna; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Foundation, Vienna; Museum der Moderne, Salzburg; MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art, Kraków; Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw; SCHAUWERK Sindelfingen; and Burger Collection, Berlin. The National Museum in Kraków held a comprehensive solo exhibition of Maciejowski's work in 2010, followed by solo shows at Ostdeutsche Galerie, Regensburg the same year and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead in 2013.

Videos

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Group Exhibition Eurasia. A View on Painting

Group Exhibition

Eurasia. A View on Painting
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Installation view of Yan Pei-Ming's Against the Light at Thaddaeus Ropac Salzburg Villa Kast Installation view of Yan Pei-Ming's Against the Light at Thaddaeus Ropac Salzburg Villa Kast
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