“Systema” Oil on wood panel.
as a basic functional unit—as well as a tree and an electrical tower, a succulent and a flange from a nuclear reactor—all are parts of our human experience and daily visual world,” the artist observed. Galczenski adds that she is not directly addressing the environment or the impact of technology, but pointing to these contrasting forces to make us think about them, “illuminating how intertwined nature and technology have become.” A recent work, Fission Document, a lozenge-shaped triptych conceived as “a textual image.” The larger central section is composed of six identical ovoid zones. At upper left are framed the twin towers of a nuclear reactor. This is complemented at right with a monochromatic rendering of a cooling tower hovering behind a schematic technical drawing. Except for the naturalistic circulatory system, the other forms are ornamental, patterned and illusional. The artist says the smaller upper and lower panels function as symbol friezes, suggesting hieroglyphic sentences with cause-and-effect diagrams. Galczenski regards the central image as a kind of “paragraph.” Systema, on the other hand, is a diptych that combines an illustration of the workings of the inner ear, the roots of a plant, atomic diagrams and traces of Google searches, among other intriguing components. The top image contains a porthole view of a forest and distant mountain range; it seems to be the “macro” to the “micro” of the vascular root cluster in the bottom panel. With teaching now behind her, Galczenski is excited to focus her attention on her next body of work, revamp her website, and organize the materials of her 35-year career. With her husband she is planning a new studio to be built adjacent to their home. Readers also may be aware that in 2007 the artist received a public art commission for the lobby of the San Luis Obispo County Government Center in downtown SLO where 24 works were installed in pairs. Galczenski says “that commission was a positive experience, and I am extremely interested in continuing to do public art and mural projects.” (For further information: www.mariangalczenski.com) F E B R U A R Y
February 2014 Journal Plus