Marcin Cienski’s paintings tell stories which unfold in slow-motion and where details and narrative seem more acute. A circular floodlight highlights a woman who raises her arms toward a chandelier, surrounded by complete darkness. Red Dress (2012) shows an intimate interior scene that transforms the viewer into a voyeur. Cienski’s unique formal language, which is characterized by radiant colors, stark contrasts and an evident painterly gesture, provokes a strong connection with the subject matter since it reminds us of photographs or stills of a movie, but at the same time, calls to mind that a painting is far more complex.
Marcin Cienski’s current series Spaete Gaeste (Late Guests) is inspired by a collection of objects assembled by his ancestors. His grandfather preserved various artifacts such as medals, feathers, teeth of animals and other curiosities dating back to the family’s roots in Poland’s 13th century. Surviving both World Wars and the succeeding expropriation of their castle and personal property under the Communist regime, those sometimes pedestrian objects were lovingly retained by Cienski’s grandfather. For him they served to illustrate stories of the past, making the family’s unusual history vivid to the imagination of the young Marcin. Many years later, the painter morphs his memories of his grandfather’s tales into works of art, an object being the cue to the story. Cienski leaves much to interpretation and viewer is urged to be reminded of their own personal experiences and past.
Marcin Cienski was born in 1976 in Krakow, Poland. He received his MFA from the Fine Arts Academy Krakow in 2001 and has exhibited throughout Europe since. Recent solo shows were held in Leipzig, Copenhagen, Zürich and Antwerp. His art can be found is numerous significant collections such as the Campbell Collection in Los Angeles, Hauser&Wirth in Zürich, AmC Collezione Coppola in Vicenza and SOR Rusche in Oelde. He is represented by Galerie Jochen Hempel in Berlin and Leipzig.