DIVUS LONDON: Neil Zakiewicz - MDF Paintings
Neil Zakiewicz - MDF Paintings

Neil Zakiewicz - MDF Paintings

31.01.2014 - 22.03.2014

Beth Fox | en

Neil Zakiewicz has exhibited frequently in the UK and abroad over the past 10 years. He graduated from Goldsmiths College in 2003 and is a mixed media artist, having previously made foam sculptures, photography and public sculpture. His previous solo exhibition at Sugarhouse Studios, London took place in 2012.

Since graduating from the Goldsmiths MFA in 2003 Neil Zakiewicz has been known for his irreverent and unpredictable sculptural interventions. So, for anyone who has followed Zakiewicz over the years, his move into painting comes as a surprise. As in all Zakiewicz's work, there is still a refusal to respect business as usual. His adoption of the mantle of painting resists a full identification with the norms and genres of the medium.

The MDF paintings of 2013-14 are made up of hinged panels. The panels are sprayed with one, two or three colours. When displayed on the wall they are unfolded, like the pages of a book held open and laid flat. What quickly becomes apparent is that the paintings are both visual end products and kits for their own making. The circular holes cut into one panel function as templates for the sprayed discs that appear on another. This also means that there is at least one painted surface hidden from view when a painting is displayed. Hence there is another version of each piece – the folded version – which we don't see but can imagine. The folded version is how the piece is when sprayed. It is also a painting in some sense, though it's not what Zakiewicz chooses to show.

The pared down vocabulary of discs with horizontals and verticals operates as a sort of zero degree image, as well as referring to signage, games and simple counting notations. The paintings pose questions about their making: Who receives the object as folded up kit? Who does the spraying? And where and when? If there is such a thing as Ikea modernism, then these painting make a good case for what flatpack paint-it-yourself abstraction might look like. They describe a moment in consumer capitalism where the precise point of production – the time and place where it actually happens – has become hard to pin down. We are still at the dawn of the 3D-printer revolution and don't yet know what to expect of it, other than a profound alteration in the relationship between signs and materials. The MDF paintings suggest ways of thinking this alteration playfully. They imply that the painting – as the tool for its own making – is already equivalent to a set of instructions, though it contains and communicates those instructions materially rather than through symbols.

Perhaps the task of painting today (if there is one), is precisely to displace it own point of production. In an odd P-I-Y kind of way Zakiewicz seems to address that task.


Written by John Chilver, January 2014

31.01.2014 - 22.03.2014


There are currently no comments.

Add new comment

Recommended articles

African Vampires in the Age of Globalisation African Vampires in the Age of Globalisation
"In Cameroon, rumours abound of zombie-labourers toiling on invisible plantations in an obscure night-time economy."
There’s 130 kilos of fat, muscles, brain & raw power on the Serbian contemporary art scene, all molded together into a 175-cm tall, 44-year-old body. It’s owner is known by a countless number of different names, including Bamboo, Mexican, Groom, Big Pain in the Ass, but most of all he’s known as MICROBE!… Hero of the losers, fighter for the rights of the dispossessed, folk artist, entertainer…
Le Dernier Cri and the black penis of Marseille Le Dernier Cri and the black penis of Marseille
We’re constantly hearing that someone would like to do some joint project, organize something together, some event, but… damn, how to put it... we really like what you’re doing but it might piss someone off back home. Sure, it’s true that every now and then someone gets kicked out of this institution or that institute for organizing something with Divus, but weren’t they actually terribly self…
Wicked / Interview with Jim Hollands Wicked / Interview with Jim Hollands
“A person must shake someone’s hand three times while gazing intently into their eyes. That’s the key to memorizing their name with certainty. It is in this way that I’ve remembered the names of 5,000 people who have been to the Horse Hospital,” Jim Hollands told me. Hollands is an experimental filmmaker, musician and curator. In his childhood, he suffered through tough social situations and…
Where to go next?
out - archeology
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
Josef Jindrák
Who is S.d.Ch? A person of many interests, active in various fields—literature, theater—known for his comics and collages in the art field. A poet and playwright foremost. A loner by nature and determination, his work doesn’t meet the current trends. He always puts forth personal enunciation, although its inner structure can get very complicated. It’s pleasant that he is a normal person and a…
Spaghetti Sauce on Your Moo Shoo Pork
Charlie Citron
Road trip Lithuania
Road trip Lithuania
Arunase Gudaitas
Aš menininkas — Aš save myliu Vincent van Gogh in one letter to his brother described a café as a place where one could easily go insane. The café in the Center for Contemporary Art (CAC) in Vilnius is such a place. Insider connoisseurs of the local scene consider it “very bohemian” and, indeed, in contrast to traditionally lackluster and overpriced eateries in museums, the atmosphere in the CAC…
Under the Shadow of Heroes
Under the Shadow of Heroes
Alena Boika
Books, video, editions and artworks that might interest you Go to e-shop
Mechanical Man, 2012, acrylic painting on paper 45,5 x 64, framed
More info...
1 100 EUR
1 235 USD
Beach Scene, 1986, acrylic painting on canvas, 76 x 182 cm, five panels
More info...
3 200 EUR
3 591 USD
1996, 61 x 45.5 cm, Painting on Canvas
More info...
2 667,60 EUR
2 994 USD
2002, 20.3 x 25.4 cm, Painting on Canvas
More info...
444 EUR
498 USD


Divus and its services

Studio Divus designs and develops your ideas for projects, presentations or entire PR packages using all sorts of visual means and media. We offer our clients complete solutions as well as all the individual steps along the way. In our work we bring together the most up-to-date and classic technologies, enabling us to produce a wide range of products. But we do more than just prints and digital projects, ad materials, posters, catalogues, books, the production of screen and space presentations in interiors or exteriors, digital work and image publication on the internet; we also produce digital films—including the editing, sound and 3-D effects—and we use this technology for web pages and for company presentations. We specialize in ...

Citation of the day. Publisher is not liable for any mental and physical states which may arise after reading the quote.

Enlightenment is always late.
CONTACTS AND VISITOR INFORMATION The entire editorial staff contacts



Arch 8, Resolution Way, Deptford

London SE8 4NT, United Kingdom
Open on appointment


7 West Street, Hastings
East Sussex, TN34 3AN
, United Kingdom
Open on appointment

Ivan Mečl
ivan@divus.org.uk, +44 (0) 7526 902 082

Kyjov 37, 407 47 Krásná Lípa
Czech Republic
+420 222 264 830, +420 602 269 888

Open daily 10am to 6pm
and on appointment.


Potsdamer Str. 161, 10783 Berlin

berlin@divus.cz, +49 (0) 1512 9088 150
Open on appointment.




Divus New book by I.M.Jirous in English at our online bookshop.