Those who view the recent return of drawing to front room popularity as a sign of economic pragmatism should stop by Cleopatra’s. A gallery more often associated with performative installation is now showing charcoals and inks by Polish artist Leszek Knaflawski (aka Knaf) in an appropriate display of inverted landscapes.
Knaf is part of the Polish collective Kolo Klipsa who refers to their drawings as diagrams to the groups “entireties.” If the entire here means a larger body of multimedia, sculptural, and performance work, then the work in this show stand as life rafts in a sea of oeuvre. The theme is the floating ground and it’s containment in a small drawn space. Dissolving rats swallow sailboats (still on the ocean’s horizon), landscapes prolapse, and a house (the tease of stability) is only mildly complaisant when fused to the back of a happy cat. The inks might be mistaken, lazily, for Ray Pettibons, but the folk style of the rest cannot be denied their charm.
This is a show that well exploits the return to diagrams within entireties, of drawing within alternative space, and Polish thinking within a Polish neighborhood.