MARC STRAUS is pleased to present Marcin Cienski’s first solo exhibition in the United States, on view from October 10, 2012.
Marcin Cienski’s paintings tell stories that unfold in slow motion, where details and narrative seem more acute. A circular floodlight highlights a woman who raises her arms toward a chandelier, surrounded by complete darkness. Red Dress (2012) shows an intimate interior scene that transforms the viewer into a voyeur. Cienski’s unique formal language, characterized by radiant colors, stark contrast and visible painterly gestures, provokes a strong connection between the viewer and the subject matter. The works remind us of photographs and film stills, but simultaneously call to mind the complexities of the painterly process.
Cienski’s current series, Spaete Gaeste (Late Guests), is inspired by a collection of objects assembled by his ancestors. His grandfather preserved various artifacts such as medals, feathers, animal teeth and other curiosities dating back to the family’s roots in 13th-century Poland. Surviving both World Wars and the succeeding expropriation of their castle and personal property under the Communist regime, these sometimes pedestrian objects were lovingly retained by Cienski’s grandfather. Throughout Marcin’s youth they served as vivid illustrations to the stories of his family’s unusual history.
Many years later, Cienski has morphed his memories of his grandfather’s tales into works of art, using the objects as clues to the stories. The paintings leave much to interpretation; the viewer is urged to remember their own past and personal history. Marcin Cienski was born in 1976 in Krakow, Poland. He received his MFA from the Fine Arts Academy Krakow in 2001 and has exhibited throughout Europe since. Recent solo shows were held in Leipzig, Copenhagen, Zürich and Antwerp. His art can be found in numerous significant collections, such as the Campbell Collection in Los Angeles, Hauser & Wirth in Zürich, AmC Collezione Coppola in Vicenza and SOR Rusche in Oelde. He is also represented by Galerie Jochen Hempel in Berlin and Leipzig.