Jacek Wańkowski




My practice is inspired by my experiences as a Marine Biologist and builds on the abstract Modernist traditions in international art of the past 80 years.  Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, Lyrical Abstraction, Color Field Painting, Neo-expressionism and their contemporary expressions inspire my work – as do Miro, Kandinsky, Dubuffet, Frankenthaler, Newman, Still, Rothko, Keifer, Twombly  . . . . . . .
My art is subjective: abstracting and distorting reality to reflect a pattern, a fleeting emotion, a recognition, a long-forgotten image.  It attempts to capture abstract, aesthetic experience directly to the canvas.  Intuitive, gestural painting which aims to evoke a spontaneous and immediate visual expression – an illusion of depth and space, a flash of brightness.  The two-dimensional canvas provides the perfect surface for distortion, for forms-in-dissolution and an absence of perspective. 

The 'picture as object' in and of itself and not 'picture as representation'.

My work is of a freewheeling nature: the use of paint, texture and surface treatment; the path of the knife and brush stroke define different surfaces – ridged, smudged, bright, mottled, flowing, clear.  Applied thickly and in layers, my paint becomes one with the canvas fabric – a physical expression of the painting's surface.  Paint is applied then may be obliterated by scraping, washing; removed by wet cloth, sandpaper, knife.  Then reinstated and reapplied.

I accept the creative flow as it comes, creating a new layer, a new object in minutes.  Partly this is a consequence of using acrylic paints which are quick-drying, so enforcing an immediacy and urgency to the work.

Many of my canvases reflect the abstraction of interacting surfaces.  For example the tension generated when surfaces interface and interact with (often violent) external environmental forces.  Most are inspired by oceanic and other aquatic subjects – archipelagos, island arcs, seaweed forests, deep-water hydrothermals, coastal landforms.
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