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Wilhelm Sasnal (b. 1972)
signed and dated 'WILHELM SASNAL 2002' (on the overlap)
acrylic and ink on canvas
13¾ x 15¾ in. (35 x 40 cm.)
Painted in 2002.
Marc Jancou Fine Art, New York

Lot Essay

A native of Poland, Wilhelm Sasnal's paintings are a direct response to the abundance of imagery that emerged from Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of Communism. His images, encompassing anything and everything from daily news, comics, album covers, novels and art books among other things, explore a no man's land where private and public converge in a sluice of shared memory.

In Landscape, Sasnal depicts a row of Eastern European houses being blown up. Instead of painting the obliterated aftermath, he catches the Impressionistic, ephemeral moment when the smoke from the bomb remains heavy in the air. With a palette limited to shades of black, grey and white, Landscape is reminiscent of a newspaper photograph. In fact, Sasnal's painting carries the same detachment and objectivity as the everyday war photograph we have come to expect from our daily newspapers. In the same vein as Andy Warhol, Wilhelm Sasnal's exploration of the banal challenges traditional expectations of representation and perception. Like Warhol, Sasnal turns the artistic, social, and political world on its head rendering the understood as defunct and the irrelevant as intrinsic.

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