Peter A. Barelkowski
Peter A. Barelkowski

2013 @ Peter A. Barelkowski

The Artists Project 2011

I’m constantly astounded by what Peter Barelkowski achieves with the minimum of means: tiny humanoids often wandering in vast space. One painting in this show is nearly all white, with a few daubs of yellow and red, and a greyish blob near the centre. Gradually, you realize that blob consists of a group of people huddled together. What are they waiting for? That’s the fascination of the painting. Patrick Donohue


Of particular interest to me were the paintings of Polish-born, Toronto-based artist Peter Barelkowski. His work, in many ways reminded me of Haitian-born Francks Francois Décéus, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the National Black Fine Art Show a couple of weeks ago. Barelkowski delves into the emotional states associated with sadness and isolation, but he juxtaposes his subtexts with what he refers to as “one-dimensional, cartoonish-style” subjects who bring out “grotesque undertones.” I look forward to further exploring his work and perhaps becoming a collector of his work. Paul Niemi, Publicist

Edmonton Sun Interview with Sandy Jobin-Bevans by Marcy Cornblum

“There is a big piece of art hanging in the main entrance. It is a painting

by Peter A. Barelkowski. It is mostly white, with a ladder leading down

to a red box that contains a single chair. I like to think of it as a place

where an individual can go to be away from the world”.

Edmonton Sun,  Tuesday February 14, 2012, Master of Laughs, Homes Extra

2010 Salon Show;

Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts; 984 Queen Street West, Toronto; to Jan 17

For this show, I find myself wanting to cite separate category for "ironic painting". This surely is where Peter Barelkowski’s work belongs.

I have previously admired his tiny figures on white backgrounds. Here, for a change, they appear against backgrounds of dark blue, black and red.

One particularly haunting Barelkowski shows a forlorn little man surrounded by almost impenetrable darkness.

Patrick Donohue

The Artist Project 2010

(Exhibition) Queen Elizabeth Building, Exhibition Place, Toronto; until March 7

Surely Peter A. Barelkowski’s odd, cartoonish people stranded in their bleak landscapes express something of a child’s bewilderment about the place of humans in the world?

The Ontario Society of Artists New Members Exhibit 2010

John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto; until January 8, 2010

I have admired Peter Barelkowski’s odd little humanoids in previous shows. Here, he shows one large figure with its torso opened to reveal a chair,

a ladder and such workings inside. On the exterior, pipes connected to the body, as if by way of plumbing, add to the thought-provoking effect.

Patrick Donohue

Gallery Stratford highlights works of OSA

The Ontario Society of Artists (OSA) is Canada's longest surviving artists society, and to celebrate its 138th anniversary Gallery Stratford is presenting a juried exhibition of 85 works from 61 OSA members. Being in Time, which opened Sunday, was pulled together by guest curator Carla Garnet for the gallery. The show includes abstract works,a few sculpted pieces, works in watercolour, acrylics and fabric.One of the most evocative pieces is an untitled oil on canvas by Toronto artist Peter Barelkowski.

The 64- by 56-inch piece shows a relatively tiny clownish figure rendered in white standing out beyond a crowd of minimally drawn figures. Apart from the central figures the canvas is black. "I explore the human experience of loneliness and isolation”says a quote from the artist. Zhe Gu, executive director of the gallery, said the works were selected from submissions from 90 artists. "It's a celebration of what current OSA members are doing," she said.

by Otis Tamasauskas and Harold Klunder.