Sep 8th 2023

Chris Cosnowski: Morality Play

@ ENGAGE Projects

864 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Opening Friday, September 8th, from 6PM - 9PM

On view through Saturday, October 14th

ENGAGE Projects is excited to announce our first solo exhibition by Chris Cosnowski, Morality Play. Cosnowski takes his hard-edged hyperrealism to another level using allegory, historical reference, and mass-produced objects to question today’s guidelines for moral development. Pairing real objects together to recreate symbols of nationalist ideologies, religious influences, and social constructs, Cosnowski dismantles propaganda simply by asking questions with paint. The title Morality Play references Cosnowski’s light-hearted representations of cultural objects that elucidate just how fragile, yet persistently ubiquitous these ideas can be.

Cosnowski’s work is made for the keen art historical eye as well as the popular culture connoisseur; his paintings are filled with metaphorical easter eggs including influence from the formal expertise of Giorgio Morandi’s ceramic vessel paintings and the allegorical mastery of Giorgio de Chirico’s work. Cosnowski utilizes gradient pastel backgrounds and shiny objects such as trophies to illustrate the glossing-over of contradictions often hidden within systems that institutionalize behavior. Adhering tightly to his style of realism, he even paints his own reflection in the sheen of plastic gold trophies and other reflective objects, ultimately reminding the viewer of the artist’s hand in the work despite its photorealistic qualities.

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