Artist: Tomasz Kowalski
Exhibition title: Planck Time
Venue: carlier | gebauer, Berlin, Germany
Date: March 21 – April 25, 2015
Photography: images courtesy of the artist and carlier | gebauer, Berlin
Planck Time is Polish artist Tomasz Kowalksi‘s fifth solo show with the gallery. Kowalski merges figuration and abstraction with his latest oil paintings on canvas and related drawings. As a key figure among today’s young Polish artists, Kowalski draws upon the legacy of German Expressionism, Surrealism, the Polish School of Posters, geometric abstraction, and graphic design. The exhibition title is derived from the smallest possible unit of time called the ‘Planck’ which was defined by German physicist Max Planck, the progenitor of Quantum Theory.
Kowalski’s work pivots around this scientific reference, articulating a microcosm of feeling and expression complete with its own laws of space, time, and measure. Depictions include a lone man tipping backwards as if performing a trust fall as he slips into an abyss of chattering mouths; a diminutive character who balloons into a luminescent grey mass; and various compressed figures whose physical boundaries multiply in space. In several works, twin boys appear, occupying a universe of childish games that seem at once playful and cruel.
Influenced by the Derrridean notion of hauntology, Kowalski activates the vagaries of childhood. He examines nostalgia as a pattern, evincing an enigmatic form of fragmented and anachronistic memory outside the confines of historical and material time.