We first met Michael Pszczonak when he was studying for his MFA at Western University in 2014. At that time he was interested in the observation of light and specifically the possibilities of describing subjective vision through painting. Now, eight years later, Pszczonak has created a deeply expressive body of work that continues his obsession with refractive, reflective, and shifting light, this time mediated through the front window of his London home.
The 12 paintings included in “The Colour of a Window” capture the view outside of Pszczonak’s large living room window, one painting for each month of a year. Conceived of in October 2020, the series records a specific moment in time during the Pandemic when Pszczonak was home with his young son. His son’s constant curiosity and interest in describing objects forced Pszczonak to rethink how he describes his surrounding world. The interior and exterior spaces illuminated in the paintings reveal an intimate domesticity and warmth, a space that we are both part of and reflected in.
Michael Pszczonak (born 1981) is an emerging artist based in London, ON. He received his MFA from Western University in 2015 and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Guelph in 2009. In 2019 his series of paintings, “Refractor”, were exhibited at Campus Gallery, Georgian College, Barrie, ON.
He has also been included in group exhibitions at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, McIntosh Gallery, Michael Gibson Gallery, Paul Petro Special Projects Space and the University of Waterloo. He currently teaches within the Fine Art Program at Fanshawe College, London, ON.
“As the dad of a 3-year-old, I am witness to the growth of my toddler and how he observes and learns about the world around him. This growth occurs through his asking an infinite number of questions about letters, numbers, shapes, and colour (among many other things). One recent question was “what colour is the window?” It’s a legitimate one given that it is an object in his observable and experiential world, and a question where the word “clear” would be the most obvious and simple answer to satisfy his innate sense of curiosity. For myself, observing the world through the eyes of a painter, the word “clear” seems to be inadequate in both its linguistic and visual terms. What colour IS the window?
This body of work is a continuation of past works in which I observe objects with fluctuating and fleeting optical scenarios and translate them using the materiality of paint. I’ve always been interested in the spatial overlay that occurs when looking out from a window at nighttime while the interior lights are turned on. The darkness of the exterior landscape and the illumination of the interior space creates a perceptual phenomenon where we are simultaneously aware of the depth beyond the window, the reflection behind the window, and the surface of the window itself. In short, these paintings explore surface, depth, light, and colour. They are also located within a broader conceptual framework of observation and growth, the commonplace and time.”
Michael Pszczonak, October 2021
Michael Pszczonak would like to thank the London Arts Council for their support through the Professional Artists Community Arts Investment Program.