From May 10 to June 16, the City Gallery interiors in Wroclaw fill with paintings and prints by five young female artists alongside sculptures made by Zbigniew Warpechowski - the nestor of Polish performance.
Five Prudent Virgins and One Liht-minded Man is a group display, the title of which alludes to the tale of five wise and five foolish virgins from the Gospel of Matthew. The exhibition features six artists: Julia Curyło from Warsaw, Aleksandra Prusinowska from Gdańsk, Natalia Rybka from Katowice, Marcelina Groń and Joanna Kaucz from Wrocław as well as Zbigniew Warpechowski.
The underlying idea of the exhibition was to illustrate the emerging tendency to return to figurative painting, as shown by five young female artists. Each artist, despite their young age, has already been involved in numerous exhibitions and awarded several awards. They all represent a high level of painting craft and have a specific individual vision of reality. In turn, the sculptures by Zbigniew Warpechowski, a renowned nestor of performance art in Poland, constitute a counterpoint to the works by the young artists.
There are three main themes clearly visible in the works presented at the exhibition. The most important one is a human being, human’s mental and social condition and body. The next one refers to mass culture and pop culture (symbolism, iconography). The third theme touches on religion, mysticism as well as God (not only the Christian one). In their individual pieces both the artists and Warpechowski clearly declare their own, often very different, views and indicate the subject of their artistic commentary.
In her painting, Julia Curyło refers to scientific and religious topics as well as the position of women, contrasts and kitsch. In an apparent nonsense, seen in Curyło's paintings at first glance, the viewer can, however, feel control and notice some intelligently inserted cross-references.
The artist imbues her works with a silent giggle, a sigh full of disapproval, expressions of concern and a great deal of irony.
In Marcelina Groń’s painting figurativity is just one level of multi-layered structures subjected to rigours of painterly gesture and complex colour combinations. In her paintings the artist records the message as a code and alphabet that refers to these areas of human perception that are beyond the mind. She also often paints female figures. They are a decoy and an indicator of emotions hidden in work.
Joanna Kaucz mostly creates self-portraits and nudes. Her physicality is the starting point for analysis of the surrounding world which is sometimes coloured or even fabricated. The artist's body is a battlefield (often with herself) as well as an area of foreign interference.
Aleksandra Prusinowska is a painter and a graphic artist. Her pieces feature excellent craftsmanship, colour, rhythm and ornament. They are highly anecdotical, remarkably metaphorical, full of expression and points focusing emotions. In her prints the artist deepens her studies on the human body, especially the attractive female one.
Natalia Rybka focuses on the connections between human beings and nature, keeping in mind metaphysics and human spirituality. He paints thick, dark and mysterious forests in which an outline of a human figure emerges out of a tangle of leaves. She declares her inextricable bond with nature.
Zbigniew Warpechowski's sculptural works are questions that include diagnoses of the condition of the contemporary world. The artist is far from being optimistic. In his opinion, people got rid of culture and patriotism using forks, besides we are preoccupied with consumption, unable to communicate with each other and surround ourselves with useless objects. The famous performer accuses and scores. In addition, he turns to religious themes. His voice is determined, confident and bold. For this reason, he makes a perfect counterpoint to the works of all five “virgins”.
This exhibition is an attempt to present various approaches to individual feelings and the world that surrounds us, through existing cultural norms, symbolism and iconography in the context of contemporary world’s problems.
The exhibition opening (10 May, at 6:00 PM) will include a concert program, which will provide a kind of commentary to exhibited works and simultaneously become something more than just a traditional concert accompanying ceremonial openings of the exhibitions. The musical part will be performed by three prominent composers: Aleksaner Mrożek, Jolanta Zakrzewska, Olga Marko.
The exhibition is curated by Mirosław Jasiński.
Photos from the opening:
Video from the opening: