Martha Spak Gallery at the Wharf and Arts Club of Washington Present Two Solo Shows by Barbara Januszkiewicz

By Editorial Team on May 1, 2018
Nitty Gritty, Acrylic on Unprimed Canvas. Courtesy of the artist.
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Opening Reception: Friday, May 4 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Art Club of Washington
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For the entire month of May, Barbara Januszkiewicz will be featured at not one, but two solo shows simultaneously. The Nitty Gritty at the Art Club of Washington will feature primarily works on paper named in homage of her musical muses. Large acrylics on unprimed canvass will be the focus of her Acoustic Fields exhibit. Each work is titled after a specific song from between the late 60s to the early 70s, each with an “ib” preceding the name. As she explains, “ib” means “inspired by.” This painter has segued her love for watercolors into a groundbreaking new area. Using acrylics, she mirrors luminosity of watercolor with an added edge of nitty-gritty texture specific to her masterful use of this medium.

Januszkiewicz ‘s Acoustic Fields exhibit we can see how she has unlocked an innovative method of staining the unprimed canvas in the same manner as she paints on paper. The collection is reminiscent of Rothko’s Color Fields, yet imbued with a new perception that hints at the future of contemporary abstraction.

“Music is my muse,” she continues. “I am inspired by the gritty undertones and rhythm patterns of the blues and Rock and Roll. I take a songs chord progressions and play with the idea of a mirror cord in the colors I paint with. Blending the music and corresponding color notes, I work to create luminous paintings that reflect the emotionalism and improvisational freedom that we find in music genres . I see my work as a frozen moment of the song.” – Januszkiewicz

Philosophically, Januszkiewicz values risk taking, experimentation, and creative collaboration. What distinguishes Januskiewicz’s success is her many years as a watercolorist, painting in a wet technique. This skill she now brings into applying staining on unprimed canvas.

Her formal training under Chinese master Mun Quan, a traditional watercolorist left its influence that can be seen in her wet and controlled technique. These works demonstrates her ability to paint in a large format and still effortlessly produce zen-like brush strokes across her canvas.
Barbara Januszkiewicz believes it’s important to educate and help build a stronger creative community with her work. In 2015, she created a Facebook group called the Dotted Line Project. The group provides Metro-D.C. area artists a platform to discuss current issues in the art community and also serves as a networking space. She has also open The Metro Micro Gallery. The gallery, which operates 24/7, is an experimental space that encourages creative collaborations between artists and curators. The space was founded on the guiding principle “pay it forward.”

Martha Spak Gallery at the Wharf is located at 40 District Square SW.