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Berlin: Martyna Czech, Karolina Jabłońska, Tomasz Kręcicki, Cyryl Polaczek

June 30, 2017 - July 22, 2017

szwung exhibition





We are happy to announce the exhibition szwung with new paintings by four young Polish artists at SCHWARZ CONTEMPORARY. This is their first gallery exhibition in Berlin.

However diverse the works by the four young Polish artists presented in the show appear to be, they are united by the element of “szwung”. The works on display are all full of verve and temperament. Moreover, all of the paintings are powerful and aim at creating a visceral response from the beholder. The dynamic compositions are created out of many contradictions. Motives, shapes, and forms are strong and expressive; coming from very different realities, they don’t hold back and confront the beholder directly. These young painters do not cut themselves off from the boredom of daily routine and include it in their works, combining and juggling various themes from everyday life or simply grasping for images and stories related to tales, books, or films – without however simply reproducing these on canvas.

Cyryl Polaczek often works with a monochrome background in which he engraves and imprints simple lines and shapes. In his work Zapach [Smell], the artist works with very reduced ways of expression but succeeds, in imbuing the painting with a an element of surrealism: In a thick layer of green paint, Polaczek draws a thin line which forms a nose. Another shape is imprinted and looks like cigarette smoke going directly into a nostril. Or maybe it is not smoke but a mouth in a profile and this smell comes from somewhere else, outside of the composition?

Aside from the visual, another aspect brings works by these four Polish artists together. All their works are informed by irony or indeed sarcasm. Their often surrealistic quality makes the works even more disturbing, unsettling, or even annoying.

Certainly, in the case of Tomasz Kręcicki’s paintings, black humour and absurdity play an important role. The narration in the paintings oscillates somewhere between everyday banality and horror. Furthermore, the composition is built up with contrasting elements that do not work together. A good example is the painting Palce [Fingers]. A tiny pencil is held between two huge fingers trying to write something on a small piece of paper. It is as if Gulliver were using Liliput’s writing tools to make some notes.

Karolina Jabłońska and Martyna Czech are not at all ashamed of dealing with very personal and intimate subjects on their canvases. The works by these two female painters are often brutal and bold. There is nothing reticent about their work.

At first glimpse, the paintings by Karolina Jabłońska might seem cute or twee because of their simple, naive forms and eye-catching colours. A closer inspection reveals that they are anything but nice. They are filled with violence and cruel harassment. The artist tells brutal und unpleasant stories involving blood, violence, and abuse. In Plucie [Spitting], the artist depicts the lower halves of two faces of people who seem to argue, or even simply spit at one another. This act is extreme and rude, and for sure there will be no apology afterwards.

Despite her young age, Martyna Czech works with difficult subjects such as violence, suffering, and unhealthy interpersonal relationships. In her paintings, she manages to find a balance between vulgarity and artistic boldness. Her works are difficult to digest, but at the same time they have this strange inherent power which forces us to look at them. The artist is ruthless in expressing her opinion about the world she needs to deal with. In her painting Gówniaki [Shitheads] she mocks a selfie-culture by depicting a youngster posing for a selfie: here, the individual’s eyes have been covered by a black bar and a revolting piece of shit on a stick is held towards the mouth.

The concept of the exhibition at SCHWARZ CONTEMPORARY is based on creating different kinds of tension between the particular works, linking and comparing them with each other. It also directs the viewer’s attention to unusual subjects, such as irony, boldness, directness, and surrealism which appear in the works. Subjects that are not only characteristic for this exhibition but refer to language or ways of communication and expression used by a young generation.


szwung, exhibition view, courtesy: SCHWARZ CONTEMPORARY, photo: def image.

Szwung, exhibition view, courtesy: SCHWARZ CONTEMPORARY, photo: def image.

szwung, exhibition view, courtesy: SCHWARZ CONTEMPORARY, photo: def image.

Szwung, exhibition view, courtesy: SCHWARZ CONTEMPORARY, photo: def image.