Marek Tobolewski wias born in 1964 in Bishop Stortford, England. He graduated from Brighton College of Art in 1986 with a BA in Fine Art Painting. He lives & works in Nottingham, with a studio based at PRIMARY.
Recipient of several awards notably from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation New York, Tobolewski’s work is held in private collections across the UK and USA as well as in numerous corporate collections.
Marek's works are also held in several permanent public collections and have been commissioned both privately and corporately in the USA and UK. Notably the 5 metre triptych 3LC SymM+R RBb for the Music Recital Hall foyer at the University of Nottingham.
Tobolewski’s practice deals with the formal process of abstraction in painting today.
BIO & c.v.
Lead Mentor on Connect programme - post graduate professional practice for artists 2001-2010
Artist in Residence - Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham 2009-2010
Selected Solo Exhibitions
Between the Lines – Buxton Museum & Art Gallery
Sym2 – Wallner Gallery, DH Lawrence Pavillion, Nottingham
Sym – Tarpey Gallery, Castle Donington
Continuum in Symmetry – Djanogly Art Gallery, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham
Continuum – Hive Gallery, Elsecar, Barnsley
Selected Group Exhibition
CoM – Bartons, Nottingham
Nottingham Open – Castle Museum
Painting Now – Castle Museum, Nottingham
Salon Art Prize 2011 – Matt Robert Arts, London
Occidental Dimension – University of Brighton Gallery
Winter Group – Clair White Gallery, Elsecar, Barnsley
Decade – Vinson Gallery, Atlanta
Artexpo Atlanta – Vinson Gallery, Atlanta
Remote Drawing – Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham
Art for Life – Christies, London
CIA 3 – EMDA, European EMO, Brussels
Art from the studios – Museum and Art Gallery, Nottingham Castle
Circa02 – Bonington Gallery, Nottingham
Another view of Wright – Derby Museum & Art Gallery
H2O – British Contemporary Art – Brahm Gallery, Leeds
Summer show – Royal Academy, London
Arts & Business - New Partners Award
East Midlands Arts Board - Fine Art Bursary
1st Prize (painting section) East Midlands Artist of The Year - Smiths Gallery, London
Pollock - Krasner Foundation Award, New York, USA
Projects & Selected Commissions
2LC TripSymM+R - BYR Triptych - Djanogly Recital Hall - University of Nottingham.
3LC Magen - New York. Private
Continuum in Balance - Art at The Arc - Geldards LLP Law Firm, Nottingham.
4 Line Contiuum - Movement Collection - Deda Centre, Derby.
Publications & Reviews
"Sym" - Tarpey Gallery, Castle Donington
Robert Clark - Guardian Guide
"Continuum in Symmetry" - Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham
Robert Clark - Guardian .. pick of the week
Mark Patterson - Evening Post .. EG Art
Andrew Cooper - Editor .. NottinghamVisualArts.net
Tom Hackett - Interface a-n.co.uk
Ruth Solomons - Interface a-n.co.uk
"Continuum" - Hive Gallery, Barnsley
Mik Godley - NottinghamVisualArts.net
"Continuum in Symmetry" (solo) Essay by Mark Rawlinson - Published 2010 by Djanogly Art Gallery
"Art at The Arc Collection" Forward by David Tilly - Geldards LLP Law Firm, 2006 Nottingham.
“Remote Control” Published 2004 by Angel Row Gallery.
“Disintegration” (Solo) Essay by Iain Gale - Published 1995 by Angel Row Gallery.
“Innovart” Published 1993 by Leicester Museum & Art Gallery.
Guardian Pick of the Week
Marek Tobolewski, NottinghamCollectively titled Continuum In Symmetry, Marek Tobolewski's recent paintings and drawings present variations on taking a line for a distinctly worm-like walk. Subtle surfaces are worked and reworked to form a ground for linear improvisations that look like the rhythmic markings below the high tide line on a wet beach. Despite their apparent aesthetic gracefulness, there is something almost obsessive in these relentless organic abstractions. One cannot but wonder at the artist's patience as he works with no end in sight to these seemingly aimless graphic meanderings. It is this very slight sense of unease that establishes a kind of psychological undertow.
Djanogly Art Gallery, to 13 Jun
Liberatingly Abstract - by Mark Patterson
One of the most common remarks Marek Tobolewski hears about his paintings is, "I like them, but I don't know why." Some people have called them "spaghetti-doodles" while others see recognisable shapes in his abstract, sinuous lines.
This is particularly true of his newer symmetrical drawings and paintings, many of which have gone on show in Tobolewski's new solo exhibition at Djanogly Art Gallery, his first in his Nottingham home town since 1994.
"People have said they see anatomical features and phallic symbolism in them," he says. "I always say 'you can read what you want into them'."
However, one thing Tobolewski's paintings are not are random doodles; they are meticulously planned in advance on paper using compasses and other draughtsman's tools. The paintings themselves can then take up to a year to complete. Neither are they symbolic of anything in particular. On the contrary, Tobolewski's artworks are liberatingly abstract, freeing the viewer from the obligation to locate a hidden story. But nor should they be thought of as mere exercises in form and presentation. Tobolewski describes them as "cerebral" each painting being a variation in an endless experiment in what you can do with the most basic artistic statement there is a mark or line on a flat surface.
They are also surprisingly warm and sensual; the curves and lines themselves recall (for me) women's curves while, up close, the textures of different surface qualities are revealed: the grain of wood, linen, paper, grooves and indentations.
"I hope they take you on a journey," says Tobolewski. "I'm not trying to get you to understand why I've made them. I think those are 'artists' questions' and I'm still trying to understand what they're about. But hopefully they do take you on some sort of narrative story."
Tobolewski (his parents are Polish) came to Nottingham from Brighton in the 1980s, helping to found the Oldknows Factory artists' studio complex. When most of the studios were closed last year, he moved to CAN studio close to Sneinton market. However, after the current show at the Djanogly gallery was agreed, he was also offered a residency at the adjacent Lakeside Arts Centre and many of the symmetrical works currently on show are the result of this.
Tobolewski imposes strict rules of composition on himself: there are no straight lines; every line is part of a continuous circle and every line connects back with itself, even though parts of it disappear off the surface of the painting into a space that has to be imagined.