Land and Scene
Layering of imagery and information has been a recurring compositional strategy in all of Paul Glabicki’s drawing series, as well as in his earlier animated film and video works. In the TOPOGRAPHY series, focus is on notions of surface and construction of spatial configurations. This is conveyed by use of materials on the surface of the paper – both physical (thick foreground brushstrokes of acrylic paint, bold overlay of line) and more elusive (brushstrokes drawn with graphite or color pencil, mixed perspective of mountains and landscape). Actual topographical maps collide with diagrams of skin, rock crystals, reflective surfaces, geological data, shell surfaces, botanical illustrations, molecular form and geometry. A contour line drawing of the artist’s hand echoes the contour of a landscape. Stark contrasts of light and dark, color and black and white, bold and delicate detail, or solid and transparent form create something tactile and descriptive, while also creating a sense of ambiguity, tension, and gesture. Like other series, TOPOGRAPHY plays with thresholds and contrasts between figurative and abstract form, and it also deconstructs notions of landscape, surface, and spatial continuity.
“10 SCENES” (2018-2019)
Instructional books on the use of words to express emotion, create characters, arrange scenes, form narratives, and construct plots served as the catalyst for this series. The techniques and process outlined in these books were often contradictory and highly subjective – offering specific methods shaped by the author’s personal aesthetics, idiosyncrasies and preferences. The 10 SCENES series compose complex collages of word and image that suggest fragments of narratives in the process of forming. Each piece suggests themes such as travel, calamity, romance, mystery, or conflict through specific props, words, color, or detail. Text fragments from the writer’s instructional books, offering possible motives for selection of visual data, are layered within the compositions. The works are often cinematic, employing focus, references to techniques of storyboards, editing and montage. Like Glabicki’s other works that played with the thresholds between abstract and figurative form, 10 SCENES explores components of narrative as fractured data and specific signifiers existing in an abstract space – a space (much like a book or painting) formed in the mind of a reader or viewer in response to information provided by the writer/visual artist.
Paul Glabicki is renowned for his experimental film animations that have appeared at major film festivals, as well as national and international museum exhibitions. His animation work in film has been carefully crafted by means of thousands of hand-drawn images on paper – each drawing representing both a frame of film and a unique complete work on paper. His film works have been widely screened at such prestigious sites as the National Gallery of Art, Tate Modern, the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of Art in New York (Whitney Biennial), the Venice Biennale, New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center, and the Cannes Film Festival. He has received numerous awards, grants, and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Film Institute.