‘I layer one image on another’, says Matecki and that’s precisely what he does. The adoption of the simplest of methods to juxtapose two seemingly incongruous languages, meanings, histories or images leads to an astonishing and compelling conclusion. While they may be done by various hands, composed of citations, borrowings and pictures cut out of magazines, these paintings retain a remarkable dynamism, paradoxically relaying the impression of an organic whole, rather than a montage. They are spontaneous and full of momentum.
These paintings, charged to the brim with impulses, signs and allusions, are in essence the result of a far-reaching, conscientious reduction of the painterly medium. Simple shapes, smooth smudges, straightforward colors, primitive figures made up of blotches, spots and dashes – Matecki brings on yet again a surprisingly radical reprisal of language and suggestiveness within his works.
The paintings are composed on the basis of a grid that is gradually saturated, fields that are filled up and layered one on top of the other. The narrative is based on a balance of subsequent themes, ultimately and simultaneously raising them all to the rank of upmost importance. Matecki, who has a considerable musical background, seems to inject this musicality into his art. These new paintings vibrate with a strong and electrifying sound, in spite of the twisted rope of melodic lines scattered with naturalist allusions and adaptations of classical motifs: the portrait, the nude, the form of a tree growing outside of a window of the artist’s studio or compositional sketches drawn from the 19th-century paintings of Delacroix. Pregnant guitar movements are countered with expressive thumps of the percussion, the rhythmic return of schematic images of physiognomy.
The bulk of the exhibition is made up of paintings by Matecki created in collaboration with other invited artists: Tomasz Ciecierski, Paweł Susid and Zbigniew Rogalski. Each painter represents a different generation and characteristic method of painting. Matecki puts the artistic ego to the text, proposing an extension of a formal game on the level of interpersonal relations. Painting was at the head of every meeting or conversation, with the painters calling upon one another to take on a task and pursue it independently in their own respective studios. Matecki is interested in blasting the autonomy of the painterly image and artistic individualism, but at the same time, he strives to create a work that is outside the norm and has the capacity to awe and astonish. Within this endeavor is a sliver of hope in the social and artistic sense that bringing together individual personalities and philosophies can bring on a positive effect, even in such a dramatically hierarchical and individualized discipline as painting.
Can two opposing things be reconciled into a whole to create a new meaning? The interweaving of euphoria and repudiation are steady motors in Matecki’s painterly machine. Here we have an enthusiasm drawn from an everyday saturation of images, the infinite reserves of the Internet, then there is the distress related to the overabundance of artistic production and the impossibility of stopping to find a stable and permanent solution. Within all this there is the essence of relaying one’s own expression into a work of art. Matecki’s method brings this membrane of artistic tension to the surface of his paintings. It is both a concrete and sincere diagnosis of the condition of contemporary culture, replete with its constant, pernicious revelations and frustrations.