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Powerful paintings reflect the artist’s life struggles

An exhibit work by artist Wojiech Madeyski is display Lake Forest's Re-invent Gallery. After being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease Madeyski

An exhibit of work by artist Wojiech Madeyski is on display at Lake Forest's Re-invent Gallery. After being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, Madeyski adapted his technique, using enamel and working with a knife.

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Re-invent Gallery, 202 E. Wisconsin Ave., Lake Forest

10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday, through Sept. 27

See or call (847) 830- 4356

Updated: October 8, 2013 6:06AM

The opening of a solo exhibition of more than 40 large paintings by Polish-born architect Wojciech “Voy” Madeyski at Re-invent Gallery in Lake Forest drew a crowd of 250, including the Consul General of Poland.

Madeyski, who lives in Highland Park, titled his show “Cityscapes” and skyscrapers, cranes, towers and and even some dark Chicago alleys are visible on these vividly colored canvases.

His show runs through Sept. 27 at Re-invent, a gallery established a little over one year ago by friends Cecilia Lanyon and Kristin Mikrut, both of Lake Forest. “Voy had heard about our gallery, so he called and said he wanted us to see his paintings,” Lanyon explained. “He and his wife came in with his portfolio and later we visited his home. We have had some wonderful artists here, but this is truly one of the most inspiring shows we’ve ever presented.”

The strong expressionistic paintings reflect the artist’s personal history and struggle. As a child, he watched the city of Warsaw rise from the destruction of World War II, and his life-long fascination with skyscrapers began. He studied architecture in Poland and later in Paris, moving with his wife to the United States in 1966. He worked at several prestigious Chicago architectural firms, including Perkins + Will and C.F. Murphy Associates, later establishing his own practice, all the while painting for personal pleasure.

In 2003, however, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which destroyed the precision of his architectural drafting skills. Painting was his passion, so he searched for alternative techniques and materials, finally finding that using enamel and working with a knife allowed him to create semi-abstract works with a rich sheen and arresting colors.

Lanyon urges people to see Madeyski’s paintings that are powerful examples of his determination to create art, despite discouraging obstacles. “They are very impressive,” said Lanyon.

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