When considering the works of Michał Budny, one is consistently awed by the noble, subdued power packed into those simple, natural gestures, materials and forms. The latest exhibition develops the fundamental themes within the practice of this extraordinary artist in a new way—struggling with the material and the space, the emotions and the architecture. Unlike 2012’s “Żywica” (Resin) exhibition, which played out on the surface of the walls, this time the artist brings forth spatial objects of museum stature, as if they’d been drawn out thickly, with a distinct physicality that dominates the gallery interiors. They are all connected through a striking manifestational quality, precision and uncompromising character. “Crown” is an exacting composition of individual objects that correspond and, in turn, provoke one another.
The nature of Budny’s works is ambivalence, and here, too, we are dealing with a deftly provoked illusion. The seemingly heavy pillars charred black on the outside are, in fact, hollow on the inside. The abstract lexicon of the forms incorporated by the artist is full of allusions to primary gestures and meaningful shapes, such as the “Crown” of the title, but at the same time, it releases these objects from an overtly straightforward conclusion.
The idea discussed by Budny over the course of his work on the show was that of strength—at times unexpected and difficult to subdue, but also fascinating, pressing, shaping. In taking a closer look at each individual piece, it is possible to detect a deterministic strike, the presence of an undefined, external force that created them in a spirit that didn’t necessarily avoid violence—cutting or burning. The qualities of Budny’s latest works are rooted in physicality, greatness and, at times, sheer fortitude, his emotional response to the material condition of contemporaneity, and most of all, the shifting political and social climate.
The past year (2015) has been particularly intense for Michał Budny. In that time, he has realized an installation for Union Station in Toronto (as part of the Villa Toronto project), a joint project with Czech artist Jaromír Novotný in Ostrava, as well as solo shows at Berlin’s Nordenhake gallery and Saarbrücken’s Saarlandmuseum, most importantly. On the occasion of the latter a new book, “Żywica”, devoted to his artistic practice was published (available for purchase at the gallery bookshop).