Jacek MarkusiewiczBarbarians

Verse is proud to present Barbarians, a new body of work by artist and architect Jacek Markusiewicz. Using generative algorithms, Markusiewicz has created monumental landscapes scored by abstract architectural patterns. In this series, the artist continues his exploration of humanity’s relationship to nature. These images are reminiscent of aerial photographs that capture immense swathes of rugged terrain. However, this land has been interrupted or enhanced by geometrical forms. The forms allude to an intriguing narrative about who made these structures and their meaning.

‘The landscape becomes a canvas telling stories of civilisation and nature.’

– Jacek Markusiewicz

Markusiewicz’s architectural background informs his artistic practice. The artist uses programming in data analysis and to generate formal and spatial solutions in building, urban, and furniture design. Markusiewicz creates generative art influenced by this practice, writing algorithms to generate visual images.

Barbarians is the next stage in the evolution of the artist’s work and develops ideas explored in the series Hollow (2022) and Cantera (2023) Hollow is a collection of 256 generative art editions inspired by an unrealised project by Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida. Chillida intended to carve out a vast cave within Tindaya, a mountain on the island of Fuerteventura. In Hollow, Markusiewicz imagines the presence of the human figure within such a monumental void. The figures within these spaces are tiny, the smallness of humankind emphasised by vast and vaulted echoing space. Cantera continues the artist’s investigation into the visual excavation of the landscape. In this body of work, images inspired by aerial photographs of Basque stone quarries and iron mines which are interspersed with architectural structures; digital traces of humanity’s footprint distorting the natural landscapes.

Barbarians continues the artist’s exploration of the body in relation to space and humanity in relation to nature. In this series, expansive monochromatic landscapes are scored by geometric forms that emerge from, and recede into, the land. They allude to the vastness of nature as overwhelming and inscrutable. Markusiewicz’s landscapes are at once familiar and alien.

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‘At first glance, I can see monumental structures resembling architectural elements carved in the landscape. They seem independent from the terrain, as if a system of vaults made up of geometric solids intersected with stone and soil with complete disregard for it, cutting through mountains and valleys, taming the natural elements. ’

– Jacek Markusiewicz

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Interspersed in this panorama are roads, crop fields and wooden buildings, evidence of a human presence. In juxtaposing industrial patterns with pastoral motifs, Barbarians explores the idea of nature as territory. Markusiewicz asks what came first: the colossal architectural forms or the small settlements. Does one constitute the coloniser and the other the colonised? Who are the ‘Barbarians’? Perhaps these immense structures trace a new stage of technological or industrial development across the earth’s surface. In Barbarians, Markusiewicz creates lyrical and enigmatic landscapes imbued with possibility.

‘The series refrains from providing a clear narrative, prompting viewers to navigate the images with their interpretations. Are these monumental structures remnants of a bygone era, conquered by a different culture, or do they mark an evolution within a single civilisation? Barbarians invites observers to explore the nuanced relationship between human ambition and the enduring embrace of the natural world.’

– Jacek Markusiewicz


Jacek Markusiewicz

Jacek Markusiewicz (mrkswcz) is an architect and creative coder from Poland with 15 years of professional and academic experience in architectural studios and universities in Warsaw, Barcelona and San Sebastián. Jacek holds a PhD in architecture and specializes in parametric design, programming, machine learning and responsive design. His artistic work merges architectural and natural...
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Verse Solos

Verse Solos is dedicated to exhibiting some of the world’s leading digital artists, artists who have been integral to the digital space or who we believe will impact the course of digital art. We find beautiful ways to physically exhibit digital art, providing an opportunity for non digitally-native collectors and art-lovers to experience these works. We provide in-depth overviews of our artists...
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