Excerpt from an exhibition review published in Cultural Chicago, 9/2007:
Among the evening’s most notable showings was an exhibition of works by young painters at Carrie Secrist Gallery “Struck: New Paintings by New Painters,” contained the work of seven up-and-coming artists, each of which straddled the boundary between realism and abstraction, creating works that tested the limits of a medium that has long been presumed to be exhausted. Although the exhibition, which was curated with the assistance of Chicago artist Richard Hull, was consistent in its quality and well worth seeing at least once as a whole, the recent paintings of one included artist, Michael Antkowiak, were especially eye-catching and conceptually provocative. His works selected for Secrist’s exhibition consisted of Richter-esque paintings based on still images culled from a variety of voyeuristic perspectives, such as security cameras or, perhaps, a webcam. Though at first viewing, it may seem as though these works merely perpetuate the lineage of photo-realist painting - particularly in their replication of all the nuances of photography, including graininess - they bring up interesting issues regarding the limitations of both painting and the subject: what is lost in the laborious reproduction of the instantaneous? Is such a constructed perspective as objectifying as it would be if captured in a photograph? Antkowiak’s stylized yet blunt paintings are a welcome hybrid of painting, photography and context - the best of numerous such examples in a superbly curated exhibition.
Written by Britany L. Salsbury.
Lives and works in Toronto, Canada and the USA.
New York, NY