Michael Kaniecki's Semi-Automatic

One of the more waggish notices ever posted in a gallery window is, “Please don’t feed the artists.” This admonition to keep hands back from the railings might be humorously applied to artist Michael Kaniecki, who is taking up a three-month residency at 1114 Pacific Ave. Not that the experienced painter is easily riled; nonetheless, his every creative decision will be on full display before passersby on most weekdays from 10am – 2pm, as well as on Sundays, as he brushes his large-scale, black-and-white India ink paintings.

Why paint before an audience? “It’s motivating for me,” he says. “The whole thing is very spontaneous.” Kaniecki’s largest work will be on a roll of paper 44″ wide and of indeterminate length. “My intention is to just keep drawing and drape the scroll in the available space in front of the window.” The residency project, supported by Spaceworks Tacoma, is entitled Semi-automatic: a drawing project. Kaniecki describes it as a “slow drawing performance piece” entailing a gradual accumulation of abstract lines and markings. Over time, “Viewers, including myself, will enjoy interpreting the shapes as recognizable forms or situations.” The artist structures his works on grids in which markings emerge and repeat themselves with a staccato beat: “It’s always a big surprise what comes out.” Semi-automatic: a drawing project, 1114 Pacific Ave., Oct. 28, 2010 – Jan. 5, 2011 (hours vary). michaelkaniecki@gmail.com

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