Scott Wolniak: Crosscurrents

Opening: Sunday, Sep 10, 2023 2 – 5 pm
Sunday, Sep 10 – Oct 21, 2023

319 N. Albany
Chicago, Il 60612

Goldfinch is thrilled to present Crosscurrents, our second solo exhibition with Scott Wolniak. Wolniak's newest paintings can be seen as outward projections of interior spaces, manifesting the artist’s interest in the ways that abstraction can convey a sense of rhythm, transformation, groundlessness, and internal movement. These lively, densely-layered works oscillate between their indexical, physical surfaces and illusory fields of depth, cultivating a non-objective visual language that embodies the energy of natural phenomena, without explicitly depicting it.

The paintings in “Crosscurrents” evince a shift from the artist's past engagement with plant forms and botanical motifs (which themselves were always based on the artist's invention, rather than on explicit description) towards a more abstracted language steeped in pattern and in rhythmic, expressive mark-making. The forms that emerge still feel tied to the natural world, but importantly, those natural phenomena also encompass the realm of the mind and the nature of consciousness itself. 

"I find imagery and meaning in my paintings as they are forming," Wolniak says. "They are never predetermined. They can be hallucinatory."  Humor, exploration and play, and perhaps most importantly intuition continue to shape Wolniak's approach. Providing another bridge between previous and current bodies of work is Wolniak's longstanding interest in material exploration. In "Crosscurrents," he again experiments with additive elements such as pumice, paper pulp and saw dust to build up textures on the surface, but now these textural elements "pop up here and there without aligning to a complete shape," as Wolniak notes, while also "helping to produce occasional, flickering effects between surface and light, and to interact in surprising ways with pigment."