Michał Budny’s artistic practice is an original combination of idealism and minimalism. Budny is continually interested in creating visual equivalents for fundamental concepts and relations conditioning our functioning in social and physical space. The objects and installations he authors offer a materialization of emotions but are also characterized by their frankness and striking conciseness.
The show Neither is Budny’s latest radical statement, this time with a vector aiming upwards, “into space, far from earthly concerns and triviality, from the quotidian and everything that weighs us down and detracts us from what is important.” These words from the artist apply specifically to a work from the series Vertical. A slender column, ten feet fall, supporting nothing but only indicating direction, is full of the sculptural essence of the credo: form without ideas is dead. The title of the show, inspired by a line from Samuel Beckett, stresses the humanistic dimension of these works. They are a ceaseless negotiation of the space between individual beings—sculptural and human.
The artist’s method of working with material may be associated with the method known from minimal art. Objects are created through mechanical processing according to simple drawings made by the artist. The material itself has a fundamental significance here, malleably but also metaphorically. Paper, rubber, wood, canvas, metal—materials of organic origin—describe such qualities and tensions as heat, hardness, density, weight, flexibility, sensitivity, and temporality. They may all be treated as formal properties, but also as referring to human characteristics and relations. The purpose of these spatial divigations is to create a kind of glossary of material gestures, allowing us to think in a new and inspiring way about order and harmony, in a philosophical and an entirely mundane, literal sense.
Since Michał Budny’s last show at Raster in 2015, Crown, the artist has taken part in exhibitions such as La memoria finalmente. Arte in Polonia 1989-2015 in Modena, Just So Stories in Vienna, and Late Polishness at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art. He also had individual shows in Zurich, Stockholm and Prague. A joint show by Budny with Vittorio Santoro, Sculpture/Sculpture, is planned for 2020 at the Museum of Art Lucerne.
to and fro in shadow from inner to outer shadow
from impenetrable self to impenetrable unself
by way of neither
as between two lit refuges whose doors once
neared gently close, once away turned from
gently part again
beckoned back and forth and turned away
heedless of the way, intent on the one gleam
or the other
unheard footfalls only sound
till at last halt for good, absent for good
from self and other
then no sound
then gently light unfading on that unheeded