Hauser & Wirth

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski

22 Sep - 28 Oct 2006

22 September - 28 October, 2006, Hauser & Wirth London
Opening: Thursday 21 September, 6 – 8 pm

Hauser & Wirth London are delighted to present the first UK exhibition of works by young Polish painter JAKUB JULIAN ZIOLKOWSKI. His paintings and watercolours present a fantastic and surreal visual vocabulary, encompassing landscapes and architectural subjects, still life and portraiture.

The hallucinatory worlds that Ziolkowski creates are inhabited by strange and dynamic forms that recall the language of surrealists such as Henri Rousseau, as well as drawing on aspects of utopian architecture and modernist design. Many paintings depict an idealised artist's studio, teeming with abundant plant life and peculiar insects. The studio contents are mutated into monstrous biomorphic forms that threaten to swarm off the canvas. Objects are distorted, reflected and replicated, imbued with frantic biological impulses. Household pot plants sprout hairy limbs and gaping eyes that recall the eclectic and personal symbolism of American painter Philip Guston. The shapes that Ziolkowski depicts hover on the brink of familiarity, yet are constantly shifting and changing in his private botanical landscape of excess.

Depictions of Ziolkowski's own works, stacked amid the swarming mass of greenery, merge with images of the heart. A tangle of multicoloured veins and pulsating arteries crisscross his canvases, like some form of urban transport network. The space of artistic creation is fused with that of the artist's own body, situating both in the realm of surreal metaphor. Ziolkowski's human figures are no less unsettling. In many paintings, their faces are obscured: the eyes and mouth crossed with black lines as if sewn up; faces covered by fragments of clothing, fur and pelt, or erased by a mask of dripping black paint. These solitary phantoms are the result of the "emotional ventilation" that drives Ziolkowski's compulsion to paint. "Painting," he states, "is a crazy machine that propels itself, and the faster it goes, the less predictable the decisions and unconventional the outcomes become."

JAKUB JULIAN ZIOLKOWSKI (born Zamosc, Poland, 1980) trained at the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts, Faculty for Painting and Drawing, Krakow. He was recently included in the exhibition Skulptur, Installation und Malerei aus Polen at the Kunstverein Bielefeld. Ziolkowski has had solo exhibitions in Warsaw (Foksal Gallery Foundation, 2005) and Krakow (Academy of Fine Arts, 2004). JAKUB JULIAN ZIOLKOWSKI lives and works in Krakow.

For further information and artwork material, please contact
HAUSER & WIRTH LONDON Phone +44 (0)20 7287 2300,,
or Claire Walsh at Idea Generation Phone +44 (0)20 7428 4949,

Tags: Philip Guston, Henri Rousseau, Jakub Julian Ziolkowski