BWA Warszawa: Eastern Wall

Agnieszka Kalinowska "Eastern Wall"

27.09.2013 – 16.11.2013

BWA Warszawa hosts an exhibition of recent works by Agnieszka Kalinowska, made between 2012 and 2013. For "Eastern Wall", she has once again taken up paper as her medium, a raw material that is both familiar and easily manipulated. These sculptures are inspired by the reality around her, their shapes reminiscent of characteristic wall decorations made by unqualified construction workers in the 1960s and '70s, sculptures made of industrial refuse, even a simple plank of peeling oil paint.

Yet her artistic forms are not a documentary-style replica of these forms of the past, but rather an intuitive approach to recall them to memory. Her goal is not a faithful imitation of reality, but an analysis of the object's properties. Some of these small-scale, intricately crafted structures of tinted paper are displayed on raw tables also made by the artist's own hands, the tables themselves forming an integral part of the works. Other pieces are exhibited on the gallery walls, breaking the traditional bounds between sculpture, painting and installation.

The title "Eastern Wall" is not simply a geo-political term, but primarily a mental one. The idea of the "East" has taken on the particular connotation of the arena hosting the fall of the Soviet version of the modernist utopia. Classic modernism has been filtered through the "eastern" mentality and its specific character, straying from precision and exactitude. The eastern imperative of logic and purpose has given way to a more flexible set of rules and instances. Agnieszka Kalinowska pays heed to the formal anomalies resulting from man's activities, which has brought subtle shifts and a loosening of norms into the realm of perfectly designed geometric forms. 

"Pattern", one of the works exhibited at the show, is a reminiscence of those wall decorations executed with a clumsy hand, with little attention to detail. Kalinowska extends this theme of inconsequence and rigor. Hence her sculptures of seemingly repetitive, identical parts (rims, pipes), jar the eye accustomed to proper rhythms and continuity. The geometry of her works is highly intuitive, close to biomorphic forms. Alongside the imperfection of execution, the artist is equally intrigued by an analysis of objects derived from the time when Polish artists had limited access to materials. The junk of industrial refuse of the period became an artistic medium. The artist, too, creates all the elements of her objects herself, rather than make use of ready-made elements. Her art of slight, seemingly incidental "errors" is in reality a fully-controlled formal analysis, mindful of every detail.


Exhibition in the frame of Warsaw Gallery Weekend

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