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).


Michał Budny