artist's biography


Marian Galczenski's earliest creative influences were Picasso and Mondrian. As a young artist, Modernist painting spoke to her in a universal, visceral, visual language that she understood and embraced intuitively. It was the conviction that abstraction had meaning and communicated at some universal pitch that propelled her work throughout her student years and for some time beyond.  Growing up in the Philadelphia area, she had the opportunity to wander museums and galleries from NYC to Washington DC. She studied painting and drawing receiving her BFA from the Tyler School of Art and her MFA in Painting from Carnegie Mellon University.

In 1980 she moved to San Francisco. Her work became involved with semiotics, the study of signs. The transition from abstraction and systematic methods to stylized visual constructs of communication was a natural evolution. She began incorporating signs and symbols from disparate international sources into new personal contexts. Her format grew into large modular painting installation works. These works have been shown at the New Museum in NYC, and museums and galleries in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco as well as other cities nationally. She has received several awards including an NEA fellowship. Her work is included in collections across the US and has been commissioned for private and public spaces.  Her public art project COUNTY is on permanent display at the San Luis Obispo County Government Center.  Her mural TREE CITY is located in the Atascadero Arts District in Atascadero, CA.

The move to the Central Coast of California had a dramatic effect on her work. Her content grew into an exploration of the juxtaposition of nature and technology. The microscopic cell and the microchip as the basic units…a tree and an electrical tower, a succulent and a flange from a nuclear reactor, and so on. In her current practice she continues to integrate a peculiar and specific arrangement of disparate modes of visual language, categories, and systems of information. Her imagery juxtaposes eclectic painting genres: landscape, objective rendering, decoration, graphic elements, and diagrammatic models. Throughout her investigation in the field of visual semiotics she has remained committed to painting.

Her work as an educator includes positions as Assistant Professor at Wilson College in Pennsylvania, Artist-in-Residence at the San Francisco Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, Full-time Lecturer in the Department of Art and Design of San Diego State University, and Professor of Fine Arts at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.  She is now Professor Emerita of Cuesta College and lives and works on the Central Coast of California.

Galczenski's work is represented by Gebert Contemporary Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona.