“All 28 of the paintings and gouaches in this show � titled ‘Timothy Galoty & the Dead Brains,’ in tribute to an imaginary rock band � date from this year. The band is conjured in several colorful, vaguely Neo-Expressionist paintings that resemble concert posters; one features a figure with two faces and a split skull from which his brain is emerging like a jack-in-the-box. The brain wears the same striped shirt and eyeball-patterned bow tie as the larger figure. (Brains and eyeballs recur in other works here, as do self-portraits of the bespectacled artist, who in this piece waves from behind a candle in the lower right corner.)
“He might be called a just-paint painter. In contrast to artists like Luc Tuymans, Michael Krebber, Josh Smith or Tomma Abts, his efforts involve no photographic sources; thick, bravura brushwork; eccentric techniques; degraded everyday materials; or Conceptual frameworks. He avoids extremes of pure abstraction or precise realism, and he seems completely uninterested in painting as an object or an installation-art element…
“There�s a grossness to this work and its bodily extremes that wasn�t as visible last year at the New Museum, where Mr. Ziolkowski�s efforts looked, in the main, a bit more mature and varied. Maybe it is just a phase he is going through. Maybe he wants to counter the chic gallery setting with some unsettling rawness, letting us know that success is fine, but that he doesn�t intend to take it easy, or be easy to take.”
“Jakub Julian Ziolkowski: Timothy Galoty & The Dead Brains,” Hauser & Wirth, New York, NY. Through July 30, 2010.