The exhibition presents to the local public the works of Polish-American Christopher Nowicki, one of the great contemporary masters of mezzotint.
Nowicki’s art proposes a play on the reality of objects, on what we see, what we think we see and what we are about to see (or could see). In his works we can observe, beside the present state of objects, an archeology of the past or an indication about the objects’ unreal/surreal future. Thus, there is a play between the reality of objects and their fictional, past or future state. About this relationship between reality and its artistic transfiguration, Nowicki states: “In my imagery, I attempt to change one’s sense of reality. (…) I think it is a huge challenge to use realistic imagery. People have preconceived ideas of what everything is, what images are, and changing this perception is difficult but I find it an attractive challenge. (…) My focus is on how to show people something that they aren’t able to imagine
In Nowicki’s universe mezzotint – a technique in which images are disclosed gradually from
shadow to light – favors a certain tension and uneasiness, suggesting the possibility of unreal things
happening on the verge of a surreal environment. Printmaking creates a strongly contrasted world,
black and white, with only rare hints of color.
The artist’s narrative brings forth the fragile and perishing nature of things (even when they
seem invincible, massive, imposing) and beings (humans), and the way in which these transform or
degenerate over time. In Christopher Nowicki’s universe objects have an inner life and they often
present themselves as characters.
The exhibited works vary from large-scale prints (like those of the series Decisions and Entropy
created these past few years) to small-size intimate works, of which some resume the tension and
mysterious vibe of the larger prints, while others, ex-libris, are dedicated to close acquaintances or
Polish cultural figures and convey a jovial atmosphere.