Tomasz Kowalski, Untitled (Cat), 2012, oil on canvas, 67 x 59".

Tomasz Kowalski

carlier | gebauer

Tomasz Kowalski, Untitled (Cat), 2012, oil on canvas, 67 x 59".

The first impression is always one of freedom: Tomasz Kowalski flits—almost carelessly, you might say—between his personal imagination and echoes of familiar modernist styles. In the crowded landscape of contemporary painting, it is remarkable enough that an artist not yet thirty even has a “personal” imagination. In Kowalski’s visual world, fresh invention enters into dialogue with art history. In his recent exhibition “The Truant,” the Polish artist exhibited fourteen oil paintings and thirty-three drawings and collages, all dated 2012. His scenes tell tragicomic stories, presenting life as a dynamic and colorful theater of incongruities. Faces, or parts of faces, appear frequently—for example, Untitled gives us a close-up of someone sticking out his tongue. Zoom in and you can spot yet another figure in the open mouth. And as you go on looking, more and more

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