Peter A. Barelkowski
Peter A. Barelkowski, born in Poland to a business family, always rebelled against their established codes. He began to experiment with painting in the 70s and established his first studio in 1975.
His art education began with an MA from the University of Poznan and continued at Goldsmith College in Poland, Ontario College of Art in Toronto (1985 – 1988), and, less formally, at Camden Arts Centre, London and through street performance in Norway during the late 70s.
Barelkowski’s work is about human conditions such as isolation and alienation. Creating a paradox between his joyful colours and darker subject matter, his paintings attempt to play with our ideas surrounding sadness. As a form of subtle escapism, the figures in his paintings are depicted in a one dimensional, cartoonish style with almost grotesque undertones. He has arrived at an artistic expression that is minimalist and almost naïve with a deceptive visual simplicity. Identifying all his paintings as Untitled, he refuses to guide viewers to his specific narrative. Instead, he invites them to construct their own. However one interprets his monochromatic canvases, one is always left in a contemplative state.
In 2015, Barelkowski won the the Best in Show Award from the 2015 Ontario Society of Artists Members Exhibition. His paintings are held in private collections in Europe, USA and Canada. His studio is currently located in Toronto, Ontario (Canada).
“Adapting a visual language of grotesque and satire, Barelkowski effectively confronts the rationalism of historical perspective with the absurdity of political powers that repeatedly throws humanity into the haunting dance macabre of war and annihilation. Although, deriving from specific historical events, Barelkowski’s works convey a universal message, uncomfortably actual when applied to contemporary history”.
- 2018 Artist Project 2018, Toronto, ON
- 2017 Art Fair Battersea, London UK, represented by Spence Gallery
- 2017 Art Fair New York, represented by Spence Gallery
- 2017 TOAE, Toronto, ON
- 2017 Mosaic, Ontario Society of Artists’s 145th Aniversary Exhibition , Aurora, ON
- 2017 Minded Spaces, Solo Exhibition, Gallery 133, Toronto, ON
- 2017 Artist Project 2017, Toronto, ON
- 2016 Art Fair Battersea, London UK, represented by Spence Gallery
- 2016 Papermill Gallery, Todmorden Mills Museum, Toronto, ON
- 2016 Art Fair New York, represented by Spence Gallery
- 2016 Art Fair Seul, Korea, represented by Spence Gallery
- 2016 Art Fair Hampstead, London UK, represented by Spence Gallery
- 2016 Artist Project 2016, Toronto, ON
- 2016 The Art Wynwood, Miami, FL, represented by Spence Gallery
- 2015 Art Fair Battersea, London UK, represented by Spence Gallery
- 2015 INSOMNIA / Nuit Blanche, Red Head Gallery, Toronto,ON
- 2015 Art Fair New York, represented by Spence Gallery
- 2015 TOAE, Toronto, ON
- 2015 Papermill Gallery, Todmorden Mills Museum, Best in Show Award, Toronto, ON
- 2015 Art Hamptons, NY, represented by Gallery 133
- 2015 Colour, Propeller Gallery, Toronto, ON
- 2015 Arta Gallery, Group Show, Toronto, ON