The Art of Boxed Assemblage.

Working with philosophical themes, poetic quandaries and playful associations, Turek’s assemblage work stands apart from most contemporary art. Its quiet phantasmagoria is a throwback to early pre-modern styles (the late Romantic Symbolists, Pre-Raphaelite, et al.) and their emphasis on the poetic relation of images. A central tenet in creating these shadow box pieces, is to form a visual rendition of allegory, metaphor and other poetic modes. This assemblage work is also contemporary in its use of post-modern strategies such as game theory and chance. Drawing from sources of artistic thinking in the writings of Tarkovsky, Gadamer, Mallarme, Benjamin and Jarry, Turek crafts visual art that is thought provoking in the truest sense of that phrase.

The Artist.

Frank Turek is a native Mainer and his work reflects the regionalism of a New England upbringing. The quiet force of American Transcendentalism (as in Thoreau and Emerson) is a cornerstone in Turek’s ideas of the role of the artist in contemporary America. Turek combines the calm of the rural sage (the daring to be poetic in a world immersed in realism) with urban street smarts, and its push toward edgy avant-garde based ideas. It should also be pointed out that Turek is a member of the exclusive club of Maine artists who actually grew up in Maine.

beauty (2000) detail illuminated box assemblage by Maine artist,Frank Turek detail from Beauty (2000) illuminated box assemblage.

About Boxed Assemblage

Commonly referred to as shadow boxes or dioramas, I prefer the term assemblage because it's a more accurate physical description and it refers to an art form rather than a folk form. Shadow boxes are generally a sentimental collection of objects cherished or thought interesting to the owner with usually no eye for composition or cultural significance of the items enclosed. Dioramas are, more technically speaking, a way of depicting a scene usually with miniature figures within a small enclosed scenery space. Many theater stage set designers will construct a dioramas as models for their set ideas. The term assemblage is not as specific as the aforementioned terms, yet it is more closely associated with describing a method of art making. And because my work is almost always constructed within the confines of a rectilinear space, or box, I refer to them as "boxed" assemblages.