Employing elements of constructivism, minimalism, and postmodernism, Przemek Pyszczek’s (pronounced p-SHEM-ek pish-check) sculptures and installations thematically explore the homogeneity of mass-produced communist architecture and the visual legacy that flourished after the fall of the Eastern Bloc. In collaboration with Todd Merrill Studio Pyszczek translates his conceptual Playground Structures into high-end, playfully utilitarian furniture design.
Pyszczek completed studies in Environmental Design (Architecture) at University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, CA, before moving to Berlin in 2010 to pursue his own artistic work. In 2012, he toured Poland, which had dramatically changed since his family’s emigration to Canada in 1987.
The ubiquitous tubular metal playgrounds that populated the communist-built housing blocks form the basis for Pyszczek’s sculptural work. These rudimentary structures were made locally, often by unregulated municipal metal workers, who would infuse their own expressions, engendering them with a sense of congenial naiveté.
In transposing these visual elements into conceptual art, Pyszczek relies on memories of these found forms. The result are fragmented compositions of broken rings and linear bars, painted with an overly-saturated palate. As the Communist playground constructions were initially designed to serve the dual purpose of public art and recreation, Pyszczek’s artistic works have now approached full circle. The formerly conceptual sculptures, in his signature brightly painted tubular metal, have evolved into a group of modular tables, seating, and shelving, each integrated with high end materials such as stone, brass, and high-density polycarbonate.
While the works share a kinship with minimalist artists like Sol Lewitt and Donald Judd, they evocatively capture and encompass a bittersweet era on the cusp of an innovation, technology, and communications boom.