The Phantasmagorical Vision of a Polish Painter

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Thirty-year-old Polish painter Jakub Julian Ziolkowski has been turning heads ever since he arrived on the international art scene five years ago. Coveted by mega-collectors François Pinault and Dakis Joannou, and first exhibited in New York in the New Museum’s Younger Than Jesus show last year, Ziolkowski recently made his NYC solo debut with Timothy Galoty & The Dead Brains at Hauser & Wirth. Billed as the alter ego work of a fictional band, Ziolkowski constructs a strange, phantasmagorical world.

Reclusive and prolific, Ziolkowski made nearly 50 new works for his show while purportedly listening to the eclectic sounds of musician and composer Frank Zappa. His exquisitely executed canvases and works on paper are compulsive, hallucinatory, and disturbing. Women get reduced to breasts dripping milk on skeletal legs in Untitled (Fighting Mothers), while erotic body parts ooze into a fleshy, swampy mess in Caligula. Flirting with the grotesque, Ziolkowski crafts a vision of life that is as philosophical as it is surreal.

Timothy Galoty & The Dead Brains is on view at Hauser & Wirth New York through July 30. Meanwhile, a recently published monograph of the artist’s work is available from Amazon.com.

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, Untitled (Priceless Arse), 2010 Oil on canvas 92 x 73 cm / 36 1/4 x 28 3/4 in. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth New York

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, The Mystery of Neocortex, 2009—2010 Oil on panel 44 x 42 cm / 17 3/8 x 16 1/2 in. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth New York

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, Untitled (Fighting Mothers), 2010 Oil on panel 38 x 40 cm / 15 x 15 3/4 in. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth New York

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, Untitled (Into the Hole), 2010 Oil on canvas 134 x 160 cm / 52 3/4 x 63 in. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth New York

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, Lust, 2010 Oil on panel 37.2 x 47.7 cm / 14 5/8 x 18 3/4 in. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth New York

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, Timothy Galoty & The Dead Brains, 2010 Oil on canvas 144 x 110 cm / 56 3/4 x 43 1/4 in. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth New York

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, Untitled (Photographer), 2010 Oil on canvas 48.26 x 38 cm / 19 x 15 in. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth New York

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, Untitled, 2010 Oil on canvas 46 x 55.24 cm / 18 1/8 x 21 3/4 in. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth New York

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, Untitled (Man with the Key), 2010 Oil on canvas 55.24 x 46 cm / 21 3/4 x 18 1/8 in. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth New York

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, Untitled, 2010 Oil on canvas 38 x 48 cm / 15 x 18 7/8 in. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth New York

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, The Clash, 2010 Acrylic and oil on canvas 175 x 210 cm / 68 7/8 x 82 5/8 in. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth New York

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, Caligula, 2010 Oil on canvas 160 x 134 cm / 63 x 52 3/4 in. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth New York