Show Preview | Damian Lechoszest

Fredericksburg, TX
InSight Gallery, May 5-26

Damian Lechoszest, Apple Pie, oil, 24 x 30.

Damian Lechoszest, Apple Pie, oil, 24 x 30.

This story was featured in the May 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  May 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

This month InSight Gallery presents the work of Damian Lechoszest, a Polish painter who has been well-received in Europe and the United Kingdom. Gallery owner Elizabeth Harris is thrilled to represent him. “We have been his exclusive gallery in the United States, and this is his first big show,” Harris says.

Entitled Traditions, the show opens on Friday, May 5, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. and features 12 paintings. Capturing and preserving disappearing Polish traditions, the canvases depict everyday scenes of an earlier time: a young girl slicing bread, another paring apples for a pie, a mother tending to a sick child by candlelight. “His brushwork is the perfect match with these Old World themes. There’s something about the way he paints faces that people just connect with,” Harris says. Coming from an “unbelievably impoverished area,” Harris explains, “Damian paints the people in his village. He has a huge basement filled with antiques and period pieces. It’s really neat to see him put all of that together.”

The artist says that his subject matter is but a springboard for expressing much larger, universal values. The “timeless, supranational values that give life meaning, like love, care, longing, brotherhood, maternity,” he says. Further, Lechoszest strives to cut through the mental conditioning that allows people to filter out much of what is happening around them. This conditioning “keeps the viewer in a dream,” he says. “My goal is to interrupt this dream, at least temporarily, by reaching the ‘self,’ which is hidden deep in the heart.” Here at the center of the self, “I am showing the beauty of this world, the perfect world. To me the aim of art should not be a diluted intellectual distillate, but life itself—an intense, dazzling life.”

“We’ve been wanting to do a show [for Lechoszest] for the last three years,” Harris says, but one setback after another befell the artist in his attempts to create what he felt was a worthy body of work. “He’s his own harshest critic,” Harris says. Once a professional cyclist for the Polish national team, Lechoszest contracted a debilitating case of Lyme disease that ended his career. “He took all that drive and channeled it into his art,” Harris says. Now, in between flare-ups of the condition, Harris says, “He paints like a madman for months at a time.”

Harris says she’s excited to see what awaits the artist in this country. “We feel like Damian is going to take his rightful place among the noteworthy artists in the United States. He has the talent, skill, and dedication to back it all up. We are just crazy about this body of work.” —Laura Rintala

contact information
830.997.9920
www.insightgallery.com

This story was featured in the May 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  May 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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