Przemek Matecki<br />WIDZIADŁO

‘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.  


Przemek Matecki