4th Floor Gallery
11 July–30 August 2013
The exhibition showed a selection of his abstract and figurative work over the past thirty years, including his gigantic sculpture Alpha (2010), and two powerful groups of sculptures that have developed from his fascination with lips and tongues. Tuchnowski was assistant to the celebrated Danish sculptor Robert Jacobsen.
As Richard Cork notes in the catalogue introduction: ‘Tuchnowski feels at liberty in the Lips series to roam between aggression, mirth and erotic greed… yet, whatever emotion he conveys, the works always retain his acute awareness of abstraction as well.’ Reminiscent of gargoyles from medieval cathedrals, the series of fifteen Lips sculptures provocatively protrude from the gallery walls.
His series of five Tongue sculptures that developed from the sculpture Kiss (French) in 1990, include a complex large work entitled Self-Made (2008) – a suspended sculpture in bronze, composed of blade-like tongues that penetrate outwards from a mass of breast-like forms. Tuchnowski’s preoccupation with tongue forms is further extended in his three most recent sculptures that incorporate intertwining animal-like tongues.
Alpha is over five metres wide and is composed of a huge enveloping disc held by two chequered trumpet-like forms that are in turn guarded by a sentinel vertical trumpet. Tuchnowski describes this sculpture as a kind of ‘planetary gearbox’ that helps us engage with the cosmos. As Cork observes:
‘Although the four parts in Alpha are static rather than kinetic, they all seem engaged in a dance with each other… but their stasis appears temporary. We can easily imagine them resuming their dance, just as the cosmos itself never stops changing… caught up in a fundamental and increasing flow, Alpha exemplifies and celebrates a belief in ever-shifting identities, which galvanizes Tuchnowski’s supple, inventive vision of the world.’