Andrew Falkowski
October 21 – November 19, 2022

Andrew Falkowski labels his circular pieces “Tondos,” a Renaissance era term derived from the Italian “rotondo” or round. In the Italian tradition, tondo paintings depicted intimate family portraits or religious narratives and were crowned with all manner of gaudy gold filigrees. The circular format focuses a viewer’s gaze to the center, like a bull’s eye. The works in Falkowski’s exhibition do anything but focus a viewer in on them. They push outward, their plastic-y, often monochromatic skins offer no clear focal points. Grooves carved into their surfaces lead in all directions and a slick, hands-off paint application reinforces their physicality, removing evidence of the pains taken in their fabrication.

For an artist who spent much of the early part of his career creating flat, geometric abstractions and lively text-based paintings, some of Falkowski’s newest works may seem like a departure. But the signature crisp painted lines, illusionistic playfulness, and ambition to negotiate object, image, and language are all still here. Newer to the mix are a variety of painterly approaches to collage and sculptural wall works as well as futile gestures of repair. Paint disguised as duct-tape skirts around the edges of the surfaces, shoddily framing their shield-like centers. X forms appear to mark insignificant spots. Crumbling plaster exposes a messy, violent process and collected words hint at the failure to settle on appropriate language. The word “thing” appears as a plea for existence and reflects the artist’s burgeoning, intuitive search for meaning in the coincidences of form found in the studio, the cold blankness of a gallery wall, the predictability of a grid, the sound of a word, or the illegible scribbles on a post-it-note. It’s as though formerly orderly works have finally made their peace with randomness and incorporated it into their form.