Piotr Makowski “Pogonologia” at Antoine Levi, Paris
In the title of the third Piotr Makowski’s solo show at the Antoine Levi gallery resounds Jacques-Antoine Dulaure 1780’s Pogonologie ou histoire philosophique de la barbe.
This text is a compendium of the different ways in which the beard is interpreted in the history, from distinctive sign of human humility and symbol of wisdom, to natural object able to attract respect or impose power.
In this context Makowski, with his sketches on paper, from whom his practice takes shape, develops paintings in which the figurative language is used to extend to abstract self-portrait.
Through strong compositions with black in lines, Makowski evokes the beard imaginary as macro zooms or hair combing close-ups and recreates at the same time alike sort of vegetal shapings.
The paintings are displayed in an apparently rigid imposing enfilade spanning all over the walls of the gallery as a unique work, but each work can however be read as a separate story, the arrangements of certain elements in some compositions can be associated with the anatomy of the human face. However, according to the intention of the author, the canvases are in the end abstract forms without direct references to figuration.
This monumental presentation is the summary of the last few years of work in which Makowski has been developing his “visual language” and vocabulary that combine the representation of formal aspects of painting, abstraction, linear, draughtsmanship and gesturalism. Although the method of composing preceded by sketching is very traditional, it reveals at the same time the artists’ respect and fairly acknowledged approach to the matter of painting.
at Antoine Levi, Paris
until 28 July 2017