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"Shot": Zbigniew Rogalski and Michal Budny 

Wednesday, Feb 13 2008

Two young artists from the much-talked-about Warsaw gallery, Raster, show at Jack Hanley this month, and the installation they've paired up on — their U.S. debut — is mysterious and engaging. Zbigniew Rogalski is a painter who has a complex interest in surface. One of his most striking images shows the canvas fogged up like a mirror in a steamy bathroom, the only thing in focus being the word "Björk," which is written in the condensation. Another painting shows a man posed in a Speedo next to a primary-yellow canvas, like a diver or an acrobat. Michal Budny re-creates everyday objects using cardboard, paper, and glue. His models of CD players and mobile phones are charming, but it's when he gets into intangibles, such as rain or "voice," that things get really interesting. "Shot," the pair's collaboration at Hanley's 389 and 395 Valencia galleries, incorporates what appears to be a cardboard artillery gun, aimed toward a large panel of geometrical shapes painted in shades of gray. The sculpture, it seems, has shattered the painting, and in the aftermath both stare at one another in a kind of aesthetic standoff. Fortunately, there are no losers in this war.

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Traci Vogel


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