Wawrzyniec Tokarski

Galerie Vera Munro

They are not narrative images. Yet Wawrzyniec Tokarski’s paintings tell stories—stories that wrap themselves like masks around the images, creep into the consciousness of the viewer and, above all, don’t soon leave one in peace.

Tokarski, born in Gdansk but now living in Berlin, focuses his paintings on the typographical element of emblems, logos, and trademarks. In so doing, he circumvents the obvious impact of their visual triviality by forging conceptual connections with contradictory meanings: “Sprite” turns into “Spirit,” or “Levis” into “Evil,” or typographically recognizable traits from logos emerge partly manipulated, out of context, and charged with new significance. What had been simplistic and unequivocal gets torqued and bursts into irresolvable polyvalence.

Tokarski’s new works, exhibited under the programmatic title “You know what you have to do. Thanks”—but who knows what to

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