Paul Chojnowski

I have been burning images into wood and paper as a means of drawing for over two decades. During that time I have continued to refine and at the same time experiment with the process. Using propane torches I burn, scorch, re-burn, sand and scratch the surface of paper or wood to create my drawings.
My earlier work, the Nocturne Series was inspired by walking at night in the light filled streets of American cities; those drawings were often mistaken for soft focus sepia toned photographs. My present work is a considerable departure in regard to content, execution and appearance - from those dark, abstracted cityscapes, my current drawings are light filled, clearly rendered landscapes.
The burning process I use to make these drawings evolved differently for each series. Experimentation (in both bodies of work) is always important to me and always informs the resulting image. In the case of the Nocturnes the image arose from intermixing water with the flame from a large industrial torch. With these new works, I’ve tried to create a visually stimulating accumulation of (often minuscule) marks on the wood surface using the tiny flame from a jeweler’s torch. I want the myriad of marks and the wood grain to suggest the treetop leaves, the forest floor or drifting snow - in short, the illusion of space and light in the natural world.

Photo of Paul Chojnowski

The City

The Country

scorched wood

Heat Transfers

Light Boxes


In 1997 Paul Chojnowski returned to his native Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts where he continues to reside and work. In September 1999 his first solo exhibition in New York was mounted where he introduced work from his ongoing series of Nocturnes - night time cityscapes inspired by his longstanding interest in the work of James McNeill Whistler. Since then, his work has been shown in group and solo exhibitions in art centers, museums, galleries and art fairs in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Dallas and Miami.

The independent filmmaker Howard Libov premiered the second documentary in his series Under the Radar featuring contemporary American artists in 2011. Titled AGLOW, the film follows Chojnowski’s studio activity and career over a period of two years culminating in a solo exhibition of his work in Boston.

Throughout Chojnowski’s career a distinguishing characteristic has been the use of nontraditional media and tools in his art making. He began burning and scorching wood and paper to create his fire drawings in the early 1990’s. His current works, that followed a year of experimentation with abstraction, are large detailed landscape drawings executed by burning and sanding Baltic Birch plywood.

Since 2012 solo exhibitions of his work have been mounted in commercial galleries, cultural centers and regional museums in Pittsburgh, Sharon PA Cumberland MD and North Adams MA. A solo exhibition of his new landscape drawings will be mounted at the Carrie Haddad Gallery in 2020.

Amongst numerous grants and awards, Chojnowski was a recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship in Drawing in 2018.

Solo Exhibitions
2016 Infrastructure Series, Bright Ideas Brewing, North Adams, MA
2016 Paper, Plywood & Light, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY
2015 New & Selected Work, Gilchrist Museum of the Arts, Cumberland, MD
2013 Fire Drawings, James E. Winner Jr. Arts Culture Center, Sharon, PA
2012 NIGHT I LIGHT, James Gallery, Pittsburgh
2011 Searchlights & other works Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY
2008 Town and Country, Hubert Gallery, New York
Selected Work, Mason Murer Fine Art, Atlanta
2007 Natural and Unnatural Disasters, Kidder Smith Gallery, Boston
2005 More Pictures About Buildings and Food, Naoussa Gallery, Tyringham, MA
2004 New Work, Jeffrey Coploff Fine Art Ltd, New York
New Work, PLUM Gallery, Williamstown, MA
Nudes and Nocturnes, Smart Duval Gallery, Aspen
2003 Threadlines, Naoussa Gallery, Tyringham, MA collaborations Scott Sandell
2002 Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport Atrium Gallery
2001 Revealed by Fire, Bridgewater/Lustberg & Blumenfeld Gallery, New York
and Macon & Co. Fine Art, Atlanta
2000 Jan Cicero Gallery, Chicago
Spencertown Academy, Spencertown, NY
Macon & Co. Fine Art, Atlanta
1999 Bridgewater/Lustberg & Blumenfeld Gallery, New York
1997 Macon & Co. Fine Art, Atlanta
1996 Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum, LaGrange, GA
1995 AGIARY, Macon & Co. Fine Art, Atlanta, collaboration with Kevin Haller
Albany Museum of Art, Albany, GA, collaboration with Kevin Haller
1993 New Work, Macon & Co. Fine Art, Atlanta
Berkshire Artisans Gallery, Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, Pittsfield, MA
1991 Butters Gallery, Portland, OR
1989 Butters Gallery, Portland, OR

Group Exhibitions
2019 Multiplicity, James Gallery, Pittsburgh
Massachusetts Cultural Council Drawing & Printmaking Fellowship Exhibition, T. B. A.
2018 Landscapes: Capturing the View, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY
2016 The 99 Cent Affordable Art Show, Gallery 51, North Adams, MA
IS 183 Faculty Show, Williamstown, MA
2015 WAVELENGTH: THE ART OF LIGHT, University of Arizona Art
Museum, Tucson, AZ
2015 Fresh Paint, Berkshire Artist Museum, North Adams, MA
Fence Select, Arts Center of the Capital District, Troy, NY
2015 CITYSCAPES, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY
2014 Figuring In, Rudd Art Museum, North Adams MA
2013 SUBurban, SMART CLOTHES Gallery, New York
illuminators, OK Harris Works of Art, New York
The Abstracted City, Hubert Gallery, New York
2012 WORKS ON PAPER, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY
2011 BLACK & WHITE, Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco
2010 Pulp Friction, James Gallery, Pittsburgh
Painted City, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY
2009 Great Pretenders: An Exhibit of Art Fakery, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson
2008 Turn and Burn, The Gilchrist Gallery, Cumberland, MD
2006 New Visions, The Harrison Gallery, Williamstown, MA
2005 NEW AMERICAN TALENT the twentieth exhibition, curated by Dan
Cameron, Arthouse, Austin, TX
Berkshire Biennale, The Contemporary Artists Center, North Adams, MA
The City, Contemporary View of the Built Environment, Lehman College,
Savoir Affair, Nemacolin Woodlands, Farmington, PA
Mapped, from here to there, Margaret Thatcher Projects, NY
2004 Night New York, Elizabeth Harris Gallery, NY
UNnatural, Full Spectrum Gallery, Lakewood, NJ
2003 flicker, Jeffrey Coploff Fine Art, New York
FLORA, Plum Gallery, Williamstown, MA
Painted City, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY
2002 Hot Art: Burning Images, Paul Chojnowski, John Cage and Andrew Bennett
University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson
ON THE MOVE: Transportation Imagery in Art, Swan Coach Gallery,
FIREWORKS, 55 Mercer Gallery, New York
Fire, KGA Compound, Houston
2001 BURN: Artists Play with Fire, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach
1999 Westside Inaugural Exhibition, Macon & Company Fine Art, Atlanta
1998 Ink Jet, Contemporary Artists Center, North Adams, MA
Earthly Visions, Jan Cicero Gallery, Chicago, IL
1998 National Juried Exhibition, No BIAS Gallery, Bennington, VT
1997 National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts/Southern Arts Federation Fellowship Exhibition, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC
1997 New Artists, a baker’s dozen, Spazi Contemporary Art, Housatonic, MA
Naked Landscape, Spazi Contemporary Art, Housatonic, MA
New Prints, Jan Cicero Gallery, Chicago, IL
Berkshire Photography, Contemporary Artists Center, North Adams, MA
Figure 8, Spruill Center for the Arts, Atlanta
1996 17 Days of Olympic Art, Hartsfield International Airport, Atlanta
Texaco Olympic Art Exhibition, King Plow Art Center, Atlanta
1996 New American Talent, Austin Museum of Art, Austin, TX
New Prints, Jan Cicero Gallery, Chicago, IL
1995 Revival of the Figure, City Gallery East, Atlanta
Vantage Point-Abstraction, Jan Cicero Gallery, Chicago, IL
1994 Brenau University National Invitational, Gainesville, GA
Art in Motion, Richards and Westbrook Galleries, Georgia
Institute of Technology, Atlanta
1992 Printmakers, Jan Cicero Gallery, Chicago, IL
Works on Paper, Trinity Gallery, Atlanta, GA
1991 Naked People Show, 800 EAST, Atlanta, GA
LaGrange National XVI, Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum, LaGrange, GA
Dwight Merrimon Davidson Print Exhibition, Elon College, Elon, NC
1990 Artists in Georgia, Albany Museum of Art, Albany, GA
1987 eARTh, Novus Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Grants, Awards and Commissions
2018 Fellowship Recipient in Drawing, Massachusetts Cultural Council
The Four Seasons, four 60” x 40” panels in the lobby of Wyndham Bentley Brook, Hancock MA
2009 Work selected for the set of a feature film by Nancy Meyers
2006 Work selected for the set of No Reservations, a feature film by Scott Hicks
2004 Emerging Artist, selected for publication in Art & Antiques Magazine
1998 Artist’s Resource Trust, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
1996 Visual Art Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts and
the Southern Arts Federation
Award of Recognition, Contemporary Artists Center, North Adams, MA
17 Days of Olympic Art, City of Atlanta, Bureau of Cultural Affairs
1994 Alternate Visions, National Endowment for the Arts with funding from the Rockefeller and Andy Warhol Foundations
Individual Artist Grant, Georgia Council for the Arts.

Wasseran, Nadine, "Paul Chojnowski's images are made with a propane torch," (review), Pittsburgh City Paper, 1/2/13 (reproductions)
Shaw, Kurt, "Chojnowski's fleeting glances create memorable works of art," (review) Pittsburgh Tribune, 12/15/13 (reproductions)
Shaw, Keith, “Challenges in balancing light and shadow,” (review), Berkshires
Week, 7/26/12
Daniel, Ana “Nude,” PORTFOLIO, (essay) The Southampton Review, Volume VI
No.2, Summer 2012 (reproductions)
McQuaid, Cate, “Brilliant drafting shines in Groz’s smaller works,” (review),
The Boston Globe, 8/9/07 (reproductions)
Newbound, Chris, “Coming to a Theater Near You”, (feature), Berkshire Living, 7/07, (reproductions)
Koper, Rachel, “Oh, Give Me a Home,” (review), The Austin Chronicle, 7/1/05.
Chen, Alan, “New Contemporary Artists at Arthouse,” (review), austinist 6/05.
Keeler, John, “Artwalk Exhibits now open,” (review), Register Star, Hudson, NY 10/04.
Brickman, David, “Bought and Sold,” (review), Metroland, Albany, NY 10/04
Pollock, Will, Emerging Artist, (feature), Art & Antiques, 9/04, (reproductions)
Ernst, Eric, “Digital Works Proves Technology Liberates,” The Southampton
Press 5/20/04 (reproduction)
Portwood, Pamela, “Smoke and Mirrors,” review, Tucson Weekly, 8/8/02.
Felf, Sophie, “Paul Chojnowski,” (review), The New Yorker, 9/25/01.
Cullum, Jerry, “Light and Darkness Revealed by Fire: Notes on the Work of Paul
Chojnowski,” (catalog) 9/01 (reproductions).
Cook, Dan, “Creative Fire,” Free Times, Columbia, SC (feature), 7/01, (reproduction).
Watson, Neil, “Close Cover Before Striking,”(museum catalog), Norton Museum of Art 4/01 (reproductions)
Schudel, Matt, “FIRE WORKS.” (review), The Sun Sentinel, 4/22/01
Helender, Bruce, “Burning Down the house,” (review), Palm Beach and The Naples Times, Summer ‘01
Russell, Candace, “How hot can you get?” (review), Fort Lauderdale Weekly, 5/01
Bonenti, Charles, “Selling Art in Cyberspace,” The Berkshire Eagle, 5/21/2000
Connally, Siobhan, “Paul Chojnowski - Playing With Fire,” (feature),The Artful Mind, 3/5 00 (reproductions).
Bergman, J. Peter, “Chojnowski carries torch for art,” (review), The Independent,
4/13/00 (reproduction).
“new american PAINTINGS, No. 26’’ The Open Studios Press, 1/00, (reproductions).
Cullum, Jerry, “Last Chance,” (review), The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 2/25/00
Smolen, Marguerite, “The Printmaking Partnership,” (feature), Digital Fine Art
Magazine, Summer 1999 (reproduction).
Rolph, Peter, “So Many Moods-Artistic Impressions of Seneca Lake,” (feature).
The Pultney Street Survey, Fall 1997 (reproduction)
Fox, Catherine, “Paul Chojnowski adds color to his repertoire,” (review), The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 11/28/97 (reproduction).
Schaub, Eve, “No BIAS national juried exhibition,” Manchester Journal, 11/6/97.
Jette, Rosemary, “First Photo Show at CAC,” North Adams Transcript, 6/5/97.
Basney, Lionel, “Technolatry Unmasked.’’ (reproduction), The Other Side, 6/97.
Patterson, Tom, “Several works stand out in fellowships exhibit,’’(review),
Winston-Salem Journal, 3/23/97.
THE SOURCE-Poetry and Artwork, Poets, Artists & Madman, 3/97, (reproductions).
“new american PAINTINGS, No. 19’’ The Open Studios Press, 2/97, (reproductions).
Laughinghouse, Amy, “Go Figure,’’ (review), Topside Loaf, 2/22/97.
Locke, Donald, “Group Effort- IVAC at City Gallery East,” (review), Creative
Loafing, 11/13/96 (reproduction).
Fox, Catherine, “Critic’s Notebook- IVAC at City Gallery East,” (review),The
Atlanta Journal Constitution, 11/15/96.
Close, Tim, Essay for National Endowment for the Arts/Southern Arts Federation 1996 Visual Arts Fellowship Catalogue, 1/96 (reproduction).
Price, Mark, “Fire Drawings,” (review), ART PAPERS, 8/96 (reproduction).
Schwartz, Carolan, “Agiary,”(review), ART PAPERS, 2/96 (reproduction).
Philips, Lisa, “New American Talent,”(museum catalog), Texas Fine Art Association, 6/96 (reproduction).
“17 Days of Olympic Art,”(catalogue), City of Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs. 7/96 (reproduction).
Cullum, Jerry, “Revival is anything but conventional,” (review), The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 9/29/95 (reproduction).
Cullum, Jerry, “Fiery Agiary is a shining light,” (review), The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 9/22/95 (reproduction).
Morton, Victor, “Fire and Brimstone, Museum displays exhibit with flames an
religious icons” (feature), The Albany Herald, 8/8/95 (reproductions).
Cullum, Jerry, “Blowtorch technique conveys Chojnowski’s dark themes,” (review), The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 11/7/93
Matthews, Karen, “Atlanta artist with local ties has exhibit in Pittsfield gallery,”
(feature), The Advocate, 8/11/93 (reproductions).
“Artists in Georgia” (museum catalogue), The Albany Museum of Art, 11/90.
Cook, Jay, “Paul Chojnowski at Butters,” (review), Reflex, 9/89.
Perry, Pam, “One Man’s Art,” (review), Creative Loafing, 4/3/90.
Perry, Pam, “Urban and Endangered Landscape,” (review), Creative Loafing, 12/8/87.

Selected Corporate Collections
Delta Airlines, Atlanta Merrill Lynch, Raleigh, NC
Koloa Hawaii, Inc., Honolulu, HI Clorox, Oakland, CA
Barnett Bank, Jacksonville, FL King & Spalding, Atlanta
Saks Fifth Avenue of America Kilpatrick, Stockton, LLP, Atlanta
Landmarks Group, Atlanta Johnson & Higgins, Los Angeles
Littler Mendelson, San Francisco Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, Chicago
First National Bank of Sycamore, IL Tektronix, Incorporated, Portland, OR
Gilreath & Associates, Nashville, TN Bruce & Associates, San Francisco
Gipson, Hoffman & Pancione, L. A. Rock and Leitz, PC, Atlanta
Fannie Mae, Atlanta Union Camp Corporation, Atlanta
Lewis Clark & Graham, Atlanta Sietro, Woodland Hills, CA
Hunton and Williams, Atlanta Shimizu, Incorporated, Atlanta
Snea Lauben, San Francisco Southernet, Atlanta
USAA Insurance Company, Tampa, FL Tucker Wayne, Atlanta
Atlanta Gas Light Company, Atlanta Halstead Industries, Greensboro, NC
Spectrum Equity Investors, Boston IXIS Asset Management, Boston
Endurance Specialty Insurance Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Boston
Hamilton, Bermuda Caldwell, Heggie & Helton, Chattanooga

Selected Public Collections
University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson
Hartsfield International Airport, Atlanta

B.A., Hobart College, Geneva, NY
Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City