Ryan Mrozowski: False Topiary

11 May 2019 – 23 Jun 2019

Cost of entry

free admission

Chapter NY

New York
New York, United States


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Chapter NY is pleased to announce False Topiary, Ryan Mrozowski’s first exhibition with the gallery.


The exhibition features a series of recent paintings of topiary mazes and a selection of dog drawings, presented together for the first time.

Mrozowski’s practice engages seriality and repetition to reveal unexpected nuance in forms derived from the natural world. His banal subjects—often sourced from encyclopedic volumes—assume new meaning within his constructed environments. He manipulates these easily recognizable, often vaguely pleasant images with painterly interventions that depart from conventional representational methods. Their visual lushness urges a slowed down viewing process, coaxing viewers to delve deeper into the artist’s imaginative tableaus.

For his exhibition at Chapter, Mrozowski resists his inclination to bend representational imagery towards abstraction. Instead, he begins each painting with an intuitively derived, linear form. He extends these abstract shapes into illusionistic space that is both believable and theatrical. Reminiscent of hedge mazes, or topographic maps, his landscapes provide an unsolvable puzzle. Their impossible shapes present a visual conundrum, oscillating between two-dimensionality and perspectival depth. 

In his drawing series, Mrozowski plays with the notion of legibility in visual form. Inspired by art historical etchings, his crude drawings of dogs use similar cross-hatching and mark-making techniques to describe volume and shadow. Drawn with an oil stick, each drawing is comprised of multiple discrete renderings of canines stacked on top of one another. Compressed onto a single plane, their forms become inextricably entangled, existing in a tension of visual brambles.

Mrozowski’s two seemingly disparate series are linked by their meandering, interlocking lines. Their forms, whether topiaries or dogs, create an unsettling effect that disrupts natural modes of perception and questions the normalcy of our everyday reality.

Exhibiting artists

Ryan Mrozowski


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