Paul Chojnowski

Walking after dark in the light filled streets of American cities like Boston, New York and Chicago has been my inspiration for an ongoing series of work I call Nocturnes. As a pedestrian one is aware of being surrounded by the rich array of sights and sounds. I have no interest in a studied representation of a street scene per say. My intent with this series has always been to capture a memory, a fleeting moment of what I saw from the corner of my eye as I made my way amongst the bustling city dwellers. Visually, my subject is light: taxi headlights reflecting off wet pavement, neon blaring and shop or apartment windows aglow. I love the energy of the city after dark and I hope to some extent to have captured it in works like On the Street and Out of the Darkness.

Photo of Paul Chojnowski

The Country

The City

scorched wood

Heat Transfers

Light Boxes


Paul Chojnowski was born in New England and attended Hobart College in Geneva, New York where he received his Bachelor of Arts in painting and art history. He studied briefly at the Kansas City Art Institute where he took courses from Warren Rosser and Stanley Lewis. He began his career in the 80’s while living in Atlanta and has since returned to his native Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts.

Chojnowski’s work has evolved over the years through a period of geometric abstraction to incorporate his figurative academic training. Throughout his career a distinguishing characteristic has been the use of nontraditional media and tools in his art making. His current work, images burned into paper and wood, is an extension of that predisposition; these burned drawings evolved as a result of his conscious effort to embrace art historical traditions while rejecting the traditional processes. In the early 90’s Chojnowski was working on wood panels with wax and raw pigments when he found he could burn marks into the surface of the wood using torches. Abandoning abstraction, Chojnowski began burning and scorching wood and paper to create his images. He first showed the fire drawings in Atlanta in 1993. A seminal work from that first exhibition is Atalanta. The critical and curatorial response to his work lead to Chojnowski receiving an Alternative Visions Grant in 1994 and a Visual Arts Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1996. With these Chojnowski created a series of large-scale narrative works on wood panels such as River of Blood / Bridge of Hope, and Searching for Religion at Century’s End that along with other large works were part of his solo show at the Chattahoochee Art Museum in LaGrange Georgia in that same year. In 1997 he returned to the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts where he continues to reside and work. Chojnowski had his first solo exhibition in New York at Bridgewater/Lustberg & Blumenfeld Gallery in September 1999. In this exhibition he introduced the first works from his ongoing series of Nocturnes inspired by his long-standing interest in the work of James McNeill Whistler. Noteworthy is his use of water in the execution of the works in this exhibition softening the image and emphasizing the sense of light as in American Nocturne: Heading North.

In 2000 three small solo shows were mounted of works on paper from the ongoing series of Nocturnes, Macon & Co. Fine Art, the Spencertown Academy and the Jan Cicero Gallery, two of which were reviewed. He was selected to exhibit in BURN Artists Play with Fire at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm in the spring of 2001; an illustrated catalog was published and all of his works were acquired by local collectors. Concurrent solo exhibitions and a catalog were planned for September 2001 with his New York (Bridgewater, Lustberg & Blumenfeld) and Atlanta (Macon & Co. Fine Art) galleries. The opening reception for Revealed by Fire in New York was scheduled for Thursday 9/13/01. The gallery (located in SoHo) was inaccessible to anyone for two weeks after the events of 9/11. Though the show was reviewed in the New Yorker, Bridgewater, Lustberg & Blumenfeldwould close its doors in December of that year.

In the summer of 2002 Hot Art: Burning images a three person show grouping Chojnowski’s work with John Cage prints and another contemporary artist at the University of Arizona Museum of Art. The same year he was selected for a solo show at the Hartsfield International Airport Atrium Gallery in Atlanta; as part of the arrangement, a work on wood was acquired for the airport’s permanent collection. Three small solo shows took place in Aspen, New York and Williamstown in 2004. In the first Nudes & Nocturnes at Duval Smart Gallery Chojnowski revisited the human form. The second was his third solo show in New York and first with Jeffrey Coploff Fine Art. The third took place in the Berkshires at the Plum Gallery. His work was also selected for publication for the Emerging Artist feature in Art & Antiques. In 2005 three of his Nocturnes were selected by guest curator Dan Cameron for New American Talent at Arthouse in Austin and his work was mentioned in two of three reviews.

In 2006, Chojnowski participated in a three person show titled New Visions, at The Harrison Gallery, Williamstown, Massachusetts. Contacted by a staff on the set of the Scott Hick’s film No Reservations in early 2007 he worked closely with production designer to provide the film with nine works for the set of the restaurant in the film and was listed in the closing credits. Berkshire Living magazine published a report of this as one of their SceneAround features. A solo exhibition titled Natural and Unnatural Disasters took place in August at Kidder Smith Gallery in Boston that featured the artist’s narrative works on paper and wood. During 2008 Hubert Gallery in New York held a solo exhibition titled Town and Country in June; a two person show titled Turn and Burn followed at the Gilchrist Gallery in Cumberland MD; and a solo show of selected works at Mason Murer in Atlanta ended a busy year of exhibitions. In September of 2009 Chojnowski will participate in a group exhibition titled Great Pretenders: An Exhibit of Art Fakery at the Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson, NY.

Solo Exhibitions

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, in collaboration with 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, a collaboration with Kevin Haller
Albany Museum of Art, Albany, GA, a collaboration with Kevin Haller
1993 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

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,
New York
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, Atlanta
Fire, KGA Compound, Houston
FIREWORKS, 55 Mercer Gallery, New York
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
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

2006 Work selected for set of Castle Rock Entertainment feature film
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.


Newbound, Chris, “Coming to a Theatre Near You,” (feature) Berkshire Living
Magazine, 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, 6/27/05.
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,
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, Times
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,
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, June, 1997.
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
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 (reproduction).
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, MO