II: Inside the
Viewed across time, the work of painter
Frank Galuszka is as much philosophical inquiry as artistic practice.
Each piece participates in a metaphysics of discovery, in which the
real is momentarily stabilized by the imagination. But only momentarily.
Embracing the constructivist insight
that reality is a dialogue between perceiver and perceived, Galuszka's
work articulates the holographic model of the universe suggested by
physicist David Bohm. In this view, all possible moments of time and
space exist simultaneously, interpenetrating the now with the then and
the yet-to-be. Just so, the paintings embody a universe they themselves
are in the process of constructing.
of Arc, 78 x 108, 1999, private collection
The mica works made in the summer of
1999 arose as an organic whole. Pinned to the studio walls, four or
five at a time, large canvases were gessoed, scumbled, scraped and splashed
with layers of paint. Galuszka would begin an idea on one surface and
continue it to the others, augmenting and refining it as he worked.
As each generation neared completion, the canvases would be taken down
and mounted on stretchers. New expanses of canvas would then be tacked
to the wall, and the process continued until a dozen completed works
had emerged. And the summer had ended.
Ontology of Surprise
encrusted surfaces of Galuszka's large abstract paintings exert the allure
of objects both familiar and mysterious. Mica, like glass or water, offers
a reflective surface which is also a transparent membrane. Composed of
natural muscovite sliced into crystalline leaves, each work is made by
painstakingly placing mica shapes into a painted surface coated with gel
medium. Many of the "backgrounds" are themselves fully realized paintings.
In other cases, the slices of mineral have been physically altered before
colonizing the surface with a cellular bloom. The mica paintings manage
to question the basic taxonomy of the physical world. Are they biological
or are they mineralogical?
Heart, detail, 2000
which the answer is a single "yes." Virtually all of his major works
involve inter-domain metaphysics, from delicate figurative paintings
to highly gestural abstractions.
painted from life often occupy a single canvas alongside fantasy saints,
demons, and hypnotically recurring patterns of mica and acrylic. The
worlds of imagination and perception co-exist - just as multiple styles
and materials meet in single works - setting up a vibrational field
among impossible energies. Appearing to break the rules of stylistic
consistency, Galuszka's self-referential body of work expresses a single
transformative vision in a multiplicity of disguises. In Parmenidean
fashion the artist packs the Many into the One, and unpacks them again.
Galuszka's mica-mirrored texts may be interpreted and re-interpreted
- the works themselves yield to the eye with a profound candor. No analysis
is required to succumb to their beauty. Serene as the ether in deepest
space, the Deathstar series embodies the artist's on-going gaze through
the looking glass.
Frank Galuszka 2009