We are pleased to present a solo exhibition of Paweł Żak, Polish male artist.
Paweł Żak, a master of contemporary Still Life
Still Life definition : “A painting or drawing of an arrangement of objects, typically including fruit and flowers and objects contrasting with these in texture, such as bowls and glassware.” Oxford dictionary
Hastily, Paweł Żak’s works look like just “an arrangement of objects”. The genre of still life has always inspired numerous artists throughout art history : from the golden age of Dutch paintings to the modern masters such as Paul Cézanne.
Paweł celebrates this genre with a unique imagery and symbolism never seen before. Such a painter, Paweł works his compositions meticulously, highlighting the importance of empty spaces as he positions each objects.
These calm images might at first glance appear so static however there is a strong kinetic energy emanating from each one. One can almost sense the movement of the cloud (Untitled #10-11) : just with a breath and the cloud might disintegrate. Just with a turn of one’s body and the petals of the cherry blossom branch might fall (Untitled #16-5). Look around and one might capture the bowl that was just removed from the table (Untitled #14-3).
It is this duality that Paweł captures so masterfully in his photographs. Is this not after all what humanity is about : a fleeting moment ?
Curator : Yuki Baumgarten
“And Other Still Lifes”
In a series of still lifes I aim to give daily items, met with the space of a white set table, meanings pertaining both to the widely understood sphere of the sacred, and the intense experiencing of everyday. Simultaneously I aim to avoid any ideological messages, leaving the meanings open to interpretation.
From the technical point, the photographs are presented in significant sizes (ca. 70 by 100 cm), framed in passe-partout, and wood – in total, about 85 by 115 cm. This format enables observing the pictured reality in a scale close to 1:1, which is important for my aspiration to a mimetic portrayal.
Bogdan Konopka wrote about those works in the text entitled “Still life enlivened” included in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition :
“…Although usually there are no dishes on the table, there is an unsettling, unknown, and unclear mystery, happening in front of our eyes. Sometimes, you get the impression, that it is not the table, not the memento of the last supper with a stained tablecloth; but a deathbed after the last rites, with an unneeded shroud, from which both the body, and the spirit, have vanished, not leaving any significant traces…”
- PAWEŁ ŻAK