The New Yorker, January 2015
Working at night, in subtle, silvery black-and-white, the New York photographer makes Provençal hill towns look like eerie stage sets. Borowiec peers down narrow, empty streets and up stone ramps illuminated by nothing more than a few street lamps. The mood is anxious, recalling James Casebere’s fabricated streetscapes, but Borowiec is also echoing classic French nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century views by Charles Marville and Eugène Atget, recalled here as sites of mystery and menace.
Art News, February 2015
In 2009, Andrew Borowiec traveled to rural Provence, where he grew up, and shot this lovely image of the village of Tourettes. It is now in his solo show at Sasha Wolf Gallery in New York. Borowiec has captured the strange sense of emptiness that such picturesque villages can have, in our era where they survive more as images of themselves than as functioning human habitats. Like photographs, such villages give vicarious access to a distant reality – the past, in their case.
The Wall Street Journal, December 2011
The Ohio River has never inspired a school of transcendental painters as the Hudson did, but does humdrum duty as the border between several Midwestern states: It is a landscape without romance. In these 28 medium-format black-and-white photographs, Andrew Borowiec concentrates on the built environment along the river, the small towns and industrial plants. Even “Scioto County, Ohio” (1996), the picture most devoted to the river and the riparian growth of trees and shrubs, has a bridge visible to the right, and an abandoned supermarket shopping cart conspicuous in the foreground. But Mr. Borowiec is no hectoring Robert Adams, bewailing a fouled Nature. He seems, instead, intent on wresting something gracious from these unprepossessing river towns.
“Wheeling Island, West Virginia” (1987), is a good example of his compositions. Mr. Borowiec positioned his camera to peer down a road that zigzags into the distance; the homes on either side are modest but well maintained; the cars are American made, not foreign; telephone wires drape across the frame; a single boy on a bicycle silhouetted against the sidewalk is emblematic of small-town dailiness. In “Monongahela Valley, Pennsylvania” (1988), the vista to the low mountain in the distance is blocked by the smokestacks and silos of an industrial plant, but the plant and the wood-frame houses in the foreground are trim and neatly arrayed; here a man in shorts pushing a lawnmower serves the same function as the boy on his bicycle.