Andrew Falkowski

No More Heroes
October 22 – December 3, 2011
Galleries One and Two

Exhibition Text


ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce No More Heroes, new works by Andrew Falkowski in Galleries One and Two.

Chicago, IL, October 22, 2011- ANDREW RAFACZ continues the fall 2011 season with No More Heroes, new paintings and installation by Andrew Falkowski in Galleries One and Two. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. It continues through Saturday, December 3, 2011.

Over the last few years, Andrew Falkowski has built a body of paintings that include elegant depictions of folded backdrops, crowns in mirror-lined boxes, representations of the characters and their respective actors from the 60’s television show “”Hogan’s Heroes,”” and quasi-historical portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte. Often monochromatic and created using an airbrush gun, these works are simultaneously sublime and charged, earnest in their execution while irreverent in the way they have been reinserted in our contemporary culture. They are concerned with multiple histories (of power, war, pop culture, and painting itself) while remaining accessible and personal in their depiction.

In No More Heroes, Falkowski presents several new bodies of paintings. He has created a series of monochromatic Napoleon portraits sourced directly from screen shots on Youtube of popular depictions of the military and political leader by actors in film and television. The artist, using his recognized airbrush technique and a vivid color palette, has rendered each portrait in great detail including the remnants of the border of the screen that the image was originally captured on. The result is hyper realistic in terms of figure and hyper pop in its presentation. This is the new historical painting, only possible in a culture with so many layers of misrepresentation and simulation.

Falkowski has also created a series of paintings depicting ransom notes with quotes from essays on philosophy and war. Stenciled and spray painted, and using an excessive number of juxtaposed and overlapped typefaces, the formal result is a hard-edged text painting that looks like an actual (albeit stereotypical) ransom note. However, the substance of the note sourced from scholarly writing and often excerpted in media res, is confounding for the viewer. They are at once playful, referencing punk rock and design, while containing very heady subject matter.

A third body of work references the dazzle camouflage painted on to navy ships in World War I. The artist has extracted the strategy from its historical context and utilizes it for its possibilities as an abstraction in painting. Dazzle camouflage consisted of a complex pattern of geometric shapes, interrupting and intersecting each other. An atypical approach for camouflage as it did not render the ship invisible, it however confused the viewer and made it difficult for the enemy to estimate its size and shape, speed and heading. Falkowski uses this effect to create abstractions that do the very same thing, confounding the viewer both in the immediate experience of the painted surface but also in the distinction between its pop implications and its very real historical antecedent.

ANDREW FALKOWSKI (American, b. 1973) lives and works in Chicago. Recent solo exhibitions include Heroes and Villains, Rosamund Felsen, Los Angeles and No Asylum Here, The Suburban, Oak Park. The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis presented his work in a three-person exhibition with Claudia Wieser and Elad Lassry in 2008. This is his second exhibition with the gallery, after the two-person exhibition FALSE POSITIVE in May 2010. His work will be presented at the NADA Art Fair, Miami, this December. He is included in numerous private collections in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, as well as the Artist Pension Trust.