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Andrew Wapinski is a visual artist whose current practice is rooted in the memories of interacting with the environment of the historic northeastern Pennsylvania coal mining town in which he grew up. There, his natural surroundings were forever shifting due to the mass extraction of anthracite coal. Decades of mining gave way to an industrialized cycle of construction and deconstruction, allowing man-made and natural environments to coalesce into new terrain. By being immersed in such a volatile location, Wapinski recognized a clear line of demarcation where man has interceded with geological time. His works place an emphasis on the physicality of material and its relationship to artistic process. Melting blocks of pigmented ice, hand ground anthracite coal and the collection of dust from his reductive painting processes lay the foundation for Wapinski to explore interwoven threads of liminal space, reclamation and material significance as they relate to shifting environments and sense of place. With a mission to first address the fragile impermanence of our natural and built environments and, second, to explore what the human role has been in reshaping these environments over time, each of Wapinski’s works becomes a new construct serving as a reflection on time and history of man transforming material with intent. Demarcation, a collection of recent visually and conceptually complex paintings on linen-mounted panels, showcases Wapinski’s examination of the dynamic between natural and man-made processes. Wapinski, who currently lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received his BFA in Painting from Kutztown University and an MFA in Painting from the University of Delaware.
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)