Cuchifritos Gallery is pleased to present Cuboids, a solo exhibition by Polish American artist Wojciech Gilewicz comprised of three eponymous spatial, painted objects and a video. This autonomous film narrative combining painting and performative interventions reminds of an early student film by Roman Polanski “Two people and a wardrobe” (Dwaj ludzie z szafa, 1958).
As Ela Bittencort writes “…In “Cuboids,” Gilewicz stresses the repetitiveness in his own work. Frame after frame, we see him transport, discard and reinstall the cubes, emphasizing physical labor over the exaltation of an artist creating in a studio. And although Gilewicz as filmmaker is in complete control, as actor he struggles with the cubes’ unwieldy sizes and weights. In this sense, “Cuboids” is a situation comedy, which in its inventiveness and humor harks back to Gilewicz’ earlier works. And while the idea that art is a matter of social convention is not new, “Cuboids” dramatizes this notion in ways that are both deadly serious and seriously funny.”
In his work, Gilewicz touches upon the value of labor, both artistic and physical, fulfilment as it relates to the production and over-production of art in a global economic slowdown and the roles of critics and art institutions. His work ultimately reveals, in picturesque and even humoristic ways, the limits of artistic activities themselves and the part they play in a wider social environment. His DIY-like project shows how art and life are interwoven and that art can still be done for the sheer pleasure of creation without any explicit plan or purpose.
According to Sara Reisman “… Wojciech Gilewicz’ practice is about expanding the scope of painting specifically and art generally into the realm of daily life, usually public and sometimes private…Gilewicz…questions the very nature of art, dismantling it from the rarified, official spaces of culture to a much wider field that leads to the discovery that life itself as art.” Marco Antonini of New York-based NURTUREart wrote that “…Beyond fine art, Gilewicz’s projects can be considered a form of context-driven creative labor split between cultural criticism, institutional critique and genuine social involvement…”
This exhibition marks the New York premier of Gilewicz’ “Cuboids” video and the fourth presentation of the artist’s three painterly objects (previously presented in New York in the framework of group exhibitions in ISCP Gallery in 2010, Queens Museum of Art in 2013, and Art Omi in Ghent, NY in 2014). They were also on public display in the front yard of the artist’s mother’s home in Arverne in the Rockaways, Queens (NY).
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published on the occasion of Gilewicz’ solo show “Rockaway” at the Foksal Gallery in Warsaw, Poland (22 May–30 June 2015) with new critical pieces on Gilewicz’ video triptych comprised of “Cuboids,” “E22,” and “Rockaway,” all of which were made in and around New York between 2001 and 2015. The three videos pay homage not only to Gilewicz’ creative origins as a painter, but also to the complexity and value of (artistic) work. They can also be read as a sort of “Song for My Mother” paying homage to the artist’s immigrant mother, who appears in each video. The essay authors include independent film critic Ela Bittencourt (São Paulo), Sara Reisman from The Shelly and Donald Rubin Foundation (New York) and Todd Shalom of Elastic City (New York), with an introduction by independent scholar David A. Goldfarb (Honolulu).
This exhibition at Cuchifritos is the artist’s third solo show in the U.S. after Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis (2008) and Flux Factory in New York (2012). Gilewicz’ most recent American group shows include Monitaur at Aspen Art Museum (2009) as well as In Practice (SculptureCenter, NY; 2009), Videorover (NURTUREart, NY; 2012) and Seven (The Boiler/Momenta Art, NY; 2012).