Black. Pentagon (8), 2008, oil on canvas, 171 x 201 cm

The first pic­tures from the Lamp Black series, which was con­tinued for several years, came about in 2007 in the artist’s work­shop on Łazarza Street in Krakow, located right next to a funeral home. Works from this series were pain­ted with one kind of black oil paint, Winsor&Newton No. 25, which is called Lamp Black. Cen­tral to these monochromatic pic­tures is the shaping of the painting’s sur­face so that, when struck by various kinds of light, fal­ling from dif­ferent angles, of various tem­peratures and inten­sities, the work creates the illusion of being three-​dimensional and mul­ticolored. The pic­tures from this series have no “right side up” and can be presen­ted any which way, and thus their chan­ging positions and illumination can generate an endless number of com­positions and colors. This inten­tion was documen­ted by the artist in the photography ses­sion he published in Lamp Black, a book released by Svestka Gal­lery in Prague in 2007.

The inspiration for the first pic­tures in this large series was the geo­metrical shapes of lumps of coal. The fol­lowing works, which eschewed mimetic associations, focused on breaking through the flat­ness of the pic­ture, ultimately leading Buj­now­ski to paint canvases on irregular, multi-​angle stret­cher bars, which were finally spatially defor­med as well. The artist speaks of these pic­tures as “destroyed by light,” thus indicating that it is fac­tors exter­nal to the pic­ture – light, as well as architec­tural and social space – that deter­mine the shape, the manner of per­cep­tion, and the com­prehen­sion of the canvases han­ging on the walls of gal­leries, apart­ments, offices, and museums.



Lamp Black, 2011, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 x 12 cm






Rafał Bujnowski
Lamp Black