This book is not yet published, but will be available from September 2022.

ISBN: 9783775752503 Category:


In his monumental photographs, taken with a large-format analogue camera, Pawel Bownik examines “artificiality” in photography. Drawing inspiration from the classic iconography of historical still lifes, genre painting as well as the aesthetics of 1940s American cinema, he questions historical norms of representation. Carefully dissecting the elementary components of his subjects, his work is driven by his attention to minutiae. Flowers are disassembled, only to be surgically reconstructed – without hiding their artificiality. Alternatively, he challenges the historical narratives symbolized by traditional costumes: Turning them inside-out invokes the possibility of a different reading: In their reversed state, the intricate embroideries not only reveal their materiality, but also speak of their socio-historical context. Undercoat encompasses Bownik’s work from the past decade, informed by the artist’s awareness of the underlying patterns that give form to our surroundings and how we perceive them.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 19 x 24.6 cm
Publisher name Hatje Cantz Verlag
Publication date 16 September 2022
Number of pages 296
Format Hardback
Contributors Text by Ernst van Alphen, Andrew Berardini, Soren Gauger, Michal Ksiazek, Zoska Papuzanka, Roma Sendyka, and Magdalena Ziólkowska
Dimensions 19 x 24.6 cm
Weight 300 g


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Warsaw-based artist PAWEL BOWNIK (*1977) studied philosophy and sociology in Lublin, as well as photography and multimedia at the Poznan Academy of Fine Arts. His work has been exhibited in numerous group shows in Poland, i.a. in the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2014). Recent solo exhibitions include Bownik: Colours of Lost Time at BWA Warsaw (2019), and the presentation of his Reverse and Disassembly series at Ravestijn Gallery, Amsterdam (2017).