In the multitude of artistic positions and strategies represented by the young generation of Polish painters (born in the 80s), none of which has become dominant and deserves to be called a current or even a trend, we present what seems to us the aspect that is most fresh and has the greatest potential: the striving for simplicity. The interests of the artists presented at the exhibition circle around the issues of abstraction and minimalism, understood in a broad sense. The exhibition focuses on works based on graphic and geometric solutions, on the analysis of patches and lines, on the investigation of colour, its properties and powers or the lack of them, and the limitations or possibilities associated with this. And finally also to the departure from the canvas to other materials, of a transition from two dimensions into spatial forms and also a literal inclusion of light, time and space into the scope of painterly practice.
The narration of the exhibition leads the viewer from works in which can be seen a striving for simplicity and geometrification, through colourist abstraction right up to a complete resignation from canvas and a radical minimalism. The starting point are the graphic, black and white canvasses of Cezary Poniatowski (born 1987), on which appear human figures, faces, botanical still lives and lettering, all of which however takes the form of monochromatic tints, stains, strokes and contours that come to constitute a geometrical abstraction in which, only after a time, turn out to be hidden classic painting themes, romantic inspirations and even a sense of humour. A similar path is followed by Justyna Kisielewska (born 1986), who spins her tails by painting in white colour on a white grounded canvas. The stories she tells in this way become virtually invisible, and the viewer stands before big, clean canvases and only thanks to delicate differences in the texture of the acrylic colour and the grounding is it possible, under the right light, to discern the hidden stories, which seem amusing and alarming in equal measure. Tomasz Kowalski (born 1984) transforms his paintings into spatial graphic forms by using metal-plastic.
The many themed, many levelled, full of colour canvasses become graphic, transparent puzzles, in which the artist's only tool is the line/contour. Through this simple device the intensiveness of the works on canvas is reduced to a minimum, but the stories told by the artist still resonate. The work of Tomek Baran (born 1985) is characterised by a radical minimalism, a care for colour-schemes and a fissuring, deforming and misshaping achieved through a play with frames. His monochromatic images become sculptures covered with canvas. The essential thing for the artist appears to be the materiality of enamel paints which create on the canvas reflective sheets in which are visible the relations between light and shadow. A step further is taken by Piotr Łakomy (born 1983), who totally rejects classic painting techniques. The artist makes use in his work of everyday objects, of their elements, interiors, materials and substance. He creates very delicate and repeatable monochromatic paintings on aluminium plates, accentuating their reflective structure, underling their sensitivity to light and involving the viewer in the process of creating spatial arrangements/compositions in a particular space and time. The space of the viewer is also organised by Alicja Bielawska (born 1980) through her “exercises with lines”. Her subtle, coloured sculptures recalling the metal pipes of little ladders on children's playgrounds relate to the modernist tradition and bring to mind the attention to colour and materials of the functionalists. We have invited Katarzyna Przezwańska (born 1984), an artist whose principal tool is colour, to create a site specific work. The artist, who in her work makes reference to the avant-garde painting tradition, annexes and colouristicly transforms/modifies the architecture of galleries. Colour serves as a tool for the investigation of space, with the properties of particular shades in geometric arrangements bringing out and underlining the function of all the architectural spaces and divisions. This work will also serve as a background or a frame for all the other objects presented at the exhibition. - Katarzyna Kołodziej, Magdalena Komornicka
Artists: Tomek Baran, Alicja Bielawska, Justyna Kisielewska, Tomasz Kowalski, Piotr Łakomy, Cezary Poniatowski, Katarzyna Przezwańska.
Katarzyna Kołodziej & Magdalena Komornicka
Work as part of the curatorial team at Zachęta – National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, one of the oldest cultural institutions in Poland engaged in the presentation of Polish and international contemporary art. They have collaborated on the exhibitions of such artists as Marlene Dumas, Neo Rauch, Victor Man, Katarzyna Kozyra, Piotr Uklański, Paulina Ołowska and on the production of many group exhibitions. As a curatorial duo in 2012 they presented in Zachęta the exhibition Huls / Hools dealing with artistic hooliganism. Since 2013 along with StainsławWelbel, they have curated the festival The Artists, wich showcases concerts and sound projects of visual artists.