Wojciech Ćwiertniewicz / Beyond Places / SMALL GALLERY
Curator / Roman Lewandowski
Opening / Online on our FB site
15.04.2021 / 6 p.m.
15.04 – 15.07. 2021
Small Gallery / Partyzantów 31a / Słupsk
Wojciech Ćwiertniewicz is a Kraków-based artist who follows a rare routine of exploring painting themes and forms on a daily basis, according to his lifetime motto: “Not a single day without a brushstroke”. In addition to efforts aimed at developing the most methodical form of expression, it appears that the artist wishes to pay tribute to Apelles who portrayed people surrounded by nature, but at a deeper level, his paintings teem with symbolism and allegory. In this respect, we are witness to the perpetuation of the ancient dispute between mimetic simulation and metaphor, which also seems to appeal to Wojciech Ćwiertniewicz, even if the artist appears quite reluctant to embrace the philosophy of Zeuksis or Parrasjos. This is best exemplified by Ćwietniewicz’s nudes and abstract paintings. In fact, there is nothing uncommon in this attitude; we can find similar trends in modernism which the artist admires so much. The anthropometric angels from Yves Klein’s “blue era” seem to perpetuate the iconographic tradition of Zeuksis, whereas the cycle of monochromatic abstractions in IKB, a colour patented by the artist, draws heavily from Parrasjos…
Anna Markowska argued persuasively that this menagerie of cognate forms reflects a certain immanent need of the artist and echoes the “delight he takes in meandering”. Indeed, if we look at Ćwiertniewicz’s work from the last twenty years, we cannot fail to notice a repercussion of juggling with various conventions, which may seem to be the result of a confusion of thematic associations and seemingly disproportionate, often accidental realities. When confronted with his recent work, we are immediately struck by the dynamic flow of changing forms, which might bring to mind a colourful extravaganza of motley shapes shifting in a kaleidoscope.
The paintings presented at the latest exhibition show a spectrum of invariant shapes of blue “clouds” with a fractal consistency. From a historical point of view, their oval and somewhat organic forms may resemble similar structural solutions that occurred in the first avant-garde movement, as represented by Joan Miro and Hans Arp, and on the other hand, they appear in the works of Jadwiga Maziarska and Maria Jarema – a pair of artists with strong associations with Kraków and Tadeusz Kantor.
Ćwiertniewicz’s work is without doubt founded on the relationship between the art history which is perceived in such a way and the idea of reference in general. The artist places great emphasis on the revalorization of aesthetic quality, on the requirement of good craftsmanship and affirmation of the repetition that is present in a given technique . In this way, the artist perpetuates all the modernist practices and techniques, while also configuring his work with the tautologies that all of the postmodernists shuffle through, from his favourite Andy Warhol to David Hockney. This is apparently the fractal law in this post-blue era of ours … (Roman Lewandowski)
Wojciech Ćwiertniewicz was born in 1955 in Krościenko on the Dunajec River. He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków between 1976 and 1981. He lives and works in Kraków. He is the winner of numerous awards, including the Art Criticism Awards Cyprian Kamil Norwid, and more recently the 2008 Exit Magazine Award. The artist has staged 68 solo exhibitions of painting and participated in over a hundred group exhibitions in Poland and abroad, including, Zachęta in Warsaw (1988), New York (1991), at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw (1997), and at the National Museum in Warsaw (2010). His works can be found several public collections (including the National Museum in Kraków, the Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom, the Main Library of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków) and in many private collections in Poland and abroad.