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Międzyrzecz: “Masquerade”

Muzeum Ziemi Międzyrzeckiej im. Alfa Kowalskiego
May 23,2021 - June 26,2021

May 23, 2021 June 26, 2021

“Masquerade” – Painting Exhibition by Julia Medyńska

Masks, sharp contrast of light and shadow. Julia Medyńska’s paintings show darkness hidden in beauty. The vernissage of her exhibition “Masquerade” will be held on Saturday, May 22. We will be able to admire the artist’s moving works in the unique space of the Muzeum Ziemi in Międzyrzecz. The exhibition will be on display until June 26. 

I am delighted and extremely excited! It is so rare to find a place that is perfectly suited to the artist’s work. Huge underground halls with arches will add a unique setting and atmosphere to the exhibition and paintings. I am still working on lighting. It can be a real spectacle” – says the artist in an interview for the artportal “Rynek i Sztuka”

The painter, after years spent in Berlin, New York and London, decided to take refuge with her family in Poland during the pandemic and isolation. For over a year, she has been living and painting there, taking advantage of the charms and quiet space of the Polish countryside.

At the exhibition, we will see oil paintings created in the last few years.

Julia Medyńska shows the heroes of her works most often in expressive, theatrical, dramatic poses, under the pressure of existential trembling and fear, often in gestures of suffering. Through allegory, difficult to grasp psychological states become more tangible for the viewer. The dramatic atmosphere of the painted works is additionally influenced by strong chiaroscuro contrasts. Very important in her work is the theme of a mask, costume, disguise, human struggle with the process of hiding one’s real face, figure in person, one’s true nature and experiences.

Mask – the existential necessity of the modern times” notes in her text on Medyńska’s painting, art curator Zyta Misztal von Blechinger … and continues … Because isn’t the modern world – as Francisco Goya used to say – still a masquerade? “Face, clothes, voice – everything is a lie. Everyone pretends to be someone he is not, everyone deceives everyone and nobody knows himself

An important inspiration for the artist is the baroque, baroque works, their pathos and the energy of sophisticated chaos. As the artist states: “I often start my paintings by looking at a baroque piece of art, which I slowly transform by adding my subtext.” The works of Caravaggio, Rubens and Rembrandt appear as a foundation in some of Medyńska’s works, as she presents us with her version of their masterpieces, focusing only on a specific element of the work.

Although Medyńska pursues the spirit that is most desirable in modern times—the spirit hidden in the horrors of human nature or in strangely deformed faces—she avoids the clarity of her performances, hiding irrational secrets in their darkness.” – Zyta Misztal von Blechinger, the art curator, writes about the artist’s work.

The painter uses tenebrism, bringing out her figures with the use of light. It draws the eye to undefined facial features and unusual poses. Beauty and darkness—this is the first noticeable contrast in the artist’s paintings. The light seduces the viewer, only then to reveal the macabre, where emotions move and deter. Sometimes even a rough, rough shape scares us, which is just looking for its form.

The reality of the eponymous “Masquerade” adds a new, additional dimension and context. The artist, who for several years has been exploring the nature of distancing herself and putting on masks, this time alone with her face covered, will participate in the vernissage and show visitors around her exhibition. It will be a double masquerade. A surprising, unexpected, spectacular event; a dark chuckle of a mix of life and art.

The exhibition “Masquerade” will run from May 22 to June 26 at the Muzeum Ziemi in Międzyrzecz. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, sightseeing will be carried out in accordance with the rules of the sanitary regime. From Tuesday to Friday from 9.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m., on Saturdays and Sundays from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. More information at www.muzeum-miedzyrzecz.pl or by phone 95 742 18 50.

Julia Medyńska – born in 1981 in Gdańsk, painter and actress. In 1985, as a little girl, she escaped with her family to West Berlin from Poland. She found an outlet for her emotions in art—artistic activities taught her how to transfer her observations to the canvas. After high school, the artist moved to New York to study acting at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and The Neighborhood Playhouse. She has performed at the Off-Broadway “Manhattan Ensemble Theater”. In the theater, she observed movement, poses and gestures, which are reflected in the dynamic frames of her works. In 2009, she began studying visual arts at Columbia University, earning her master’s degree. Since then, she has taken part in many group exhibitions. The artist received awards and distinctions for her paintings.  She is an award recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields foundation. Furthermore, she is currently preparing for her solo exhibition at the School Gallery in London (2021).


May 23, 2021
June 26, 2021
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