The story Zbigniew Rogalski tells in his newest show begins with a collection of seashells. Rogalski has accustomed us to paintings in which various spaces interpenetrate—artistic, museum space and intimate, private space. Homesick is also a kind of collection, but merely a pretext to deeper meditation. Rogalski is concerned with the ambiguous relation between the body and architecture, between the living and what is built to protect it, between the organic and the rational. The abandoned shells in his paintings are both images of places of potential shelter, a living space, and a metaphor for leaving home, departure or forced escape. In Rogalski’s painterly interpretation, this ambiguous symbol has the softness of a shroud. His painting movingly combines formal invention and finesse with a lyrical message. In itself it is an intuitive journey spiralling into the depths, where the image finally ends but curiosity remains alive.
The canvases are accompanied by photographs featuring the reclining figure of the artist’s teenage son. Portrait of a Boy, Rogalski tentatively titled these images, but they could just as well allude to the notion of a snail crawling into an independent future. The painter draws elementary geometrical figures on them, seeking a rational, Vitruvian order. But instead of a simple rule, the motif of the spiral tellingly returns.
A special addition to the exhibition is the soundtrack composed and recorded at the artist’s invitation by Monika Brodka.