Michał Budny (born 1976) and Kajetan Sosnow­ski (1913–1987) meet for the first time. This joint exhibition com­bines the latest objects by Budny with Sosnowski’s “sewn pain­tings” and reveals the intriguing shared strains in their works. This sym­biotic con­fron­tation re-​examines the existing positions of both artists in the history of art, disc­losing the broader, art-​historical con­text of Budny’s prac­tice and restoring to con­tem­porary relevance the original and still underap­preciated work of Sosnowski.


The common denominator for both figures is an imposing clarity of vision, the expres­siveness of simple but subtle forms, and a purist relation­ship to the material as the physical essence of the work. The tac­tile and emotional con­tent of tem­perature, colour, light, weight, den­sity and soft­ness inheres in organic materials and their structure—in natural canvas, rubber, wood or steel. The works of both artists, seemin­gly abs­tract, in various ways defy easy clas­sifications of genre. They operate through images and masses but use little pain­ting or sculpting.


Budny’s most recent sculp­tural objects are a kind of spatial choreography. The individual figures—masses—are based on the sim­plest gestures, motions of the hands or arms, executed within a cir­cum­ference of opening, gathering, grasping, embracing. They allude to relations and emotions. Sosnowski’s sewn pain­tings similarly com­bine fun­damen­tal gestures of cut­ting, sewing, and stret­ching, alluding to actions associated with the creation of clothing and ensh­rouding of the body. This humanistic dimen­sion of Budny’s and Sosnowski’s com­positions generally finds its origins in an abs­tract drawing—noted on paper or only conceptualized—as a type of minimalist score, the sim­plest recor­ding of an idea.


Kajetan Sosnow­ski worked on his sewn pain­tings from the mid-1970s. He executed them him­self using a sewing machine and dif­ferent varieties of linen and cotton canvas. He created three dif­ferent series of these works: Katalipomena (the sim­plest com­positions sewn from mat­ching pieces of raw canvas), Interven­tions (pain­tings from a single piece of material sewn to form folds on its sur­face), and Equivalent Arran­gements (com­positions based on mathematical propor­tions, sewn from varied, often mul­ticoloured canvases). The inspiration for creation of pain­tings from raw material was his stay at the plein-​air in Jagniątków, Lower Silesia, in 1975, with the theme of environ­men­tal protec­tion. Katalipomena (from the Greek for preserving or protec­ting) was inten­ded by the artist as a project with an ecological mes­sage, “an homage to the per­fec­tion of nature,” as he put it. Focusing on the natural struc­ture of linen or cotton, the drawing of warp and weft, takes on an essen­tial, nearly cosmological meaning here. A similar organic thin­king about material charac­terizes the works of Michał Budny. In both instan­ces, addres­sing the physical proper­ties of natural materials is an attempt to restore balance—environmental and spiritual.


Michał Budny, Kajetan Sosnowski




Works of Kajetan Sosnowski from the collection of the family in conjunction with gallery Beta16


Special thanks to Karolina Nowak-Sarbińska for the exhibition concept