November 8, 2014
Channeling the mystical energies of the elements to create galactic maps with charged geology, Piotr Uklański's New Age paintings retrofit the mind with a 70s-era third eye—currently on view at Independent Projects 2014 in New York City.
Gagosian is pleased to present Piotr Uklański’s recent New Age paintings at New York’s Independent Fair. Known for his artisanal and meticulously handmade approach, the Polish artist has undertaken pseudoscience to explore compositional chakras and cosmic craft.
Following his recent Galaxy paintings alluding to celestial events in ethereal gold threadwork, these new paintings employ the same electroplated filament but zoom back further in their imagining of the great beyond. The delicate gemstones and crystal slices are reminiscent of the Hubble Telescope’s depictions of galaxies and nebulae, while the use of black velvet for canvas magnetically sponges in light, working as a lush stand-in for dark matter.
The New Age movement, with its attention to primordial energies and denial of logic, opened a floodgate of spiritual solutions and alchemical remedies. Uklański’s titles—Heaven’s Gate, I am the Center—invoke cults and mantric chants to accompany his composite sketches of the unknown; some provide a set-list for obscure cosmic rock bands of the late 70s and early 80s such as Xenos Cosmos by the Yugoslavian composer Janko Nilovic, a Zenny ballad which was written as an homage to space heroes. Highly polished healing crystals and encrusted thrift store agate become clinically distanced in Medicated Meditation.
Uklański endows the work with a spectrum of meaning ranging from the esoteric to the skeptical, two-facing himself as both shaman and charlatan. The therapeutic and curative powers of art that run throughout his alternative approach to painting—seen in his use of weaving, ceramics, or general meditative repetition—are here writ large with glowing aura. In their approximating of the pillars of creation the new works possess an undeniable energy that can be felt from placebo to Sedona.
"Piotr Uklański" is on view at Independent Projects 2014 through November 15 at Independent, New York, New York.