Let’s meet two winners of the first Carte Blanche Prize. After a heated debate, the jury panel (the chief editors of Contemporary Lynx Magazine, Zuzanna Zakaryan /PURO Hotels, Marta Kołakowska/LETO Gallery, Hubert Karsz/ Grupa Warszawa, Alek Hudzik/Newsweek, and Małgorzata Szczepańska/ ELLE Decoration) has chosen two visual artists – Michalina Bigaj and Szymon Szewczyk from hundreds of submissions. Our criteria included talent, aesthetics, the selection of topics, and originality. The artworks of the chosen artists will be presented during the two solo exhibitions at the Willa Biała in Warsaw. Contemporary Lynx Team also selected six artists whose artworks will be featured in the “Portfolio” section on Contemporary Lynx Weekly Online. Have a look at the winners’ biographies and works.
(cash prize – 3000 PLN and the solo exhibition in Warsaw)
Michalina Bigaj (b.1991) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. In her art practice, she focuses on sculpture, video art, installation and photography. Her main interest lies in issues about relationships existing between nature and humans. In her projects, the artist explores the increasingly deepening imbalance between contemporary civilisation and the natural environment. Treating the world of nature as property, humans have already managed to subordinate it in a way that allows them to use it selectively, in a highly impoverished way. She is fascinated by discovering moments in which the very refreshing experience of coming into contact with nature becomes an oppressive experience, and therefore difficult to accept by contemporary humans. (the exhibition’s opening will take place on the 11th of July).
Szymon Szewczyk (b. 1989) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice. He creates paintings, objects, collages and installations. In his projects, he focuses on the relationship between humans and their surroundings, both in terms of the material as well as cultural aspects. He likes to find a non-obvious connection between phenomena that seem to be distant. He is fascinated by the theories of conspiracies, creative quick fix, temporality or cheap DIY materials. Further, he is interested in the excess of the information, dubious scientific articles, deadpans, trash, imitations, disturbance, errors, bogus rituals, tamed exoticism, doubt in organised knowledge of the world. (The exhibition’s opening will take place on the 13th of November).
6 WINNERS OF THE YOUNG LYNXES PRIZE
(the publication of artists’ portfolios on Contemporary Lynx Weekly Online Magazine)
Paweł Błęcki (b. 1984) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk where he majored in Photography and Intermedia at the Multimedia Communication Faculty of the University of Arts in Poznań. “Most of his works are an effect of long-term fascination with objects and his contemplation about our relations with them. The artist often reaches for the sociology of objects. and it’s an observation on the similar status of objects and people in the relationship webs that create reality. His works are a reflection on the belief that only by undermining the anthropocentric perspective of man and accepting object’s active influence on the relationship webs, in which we function together — ‘the world that we create but don’t understand, because we treat it always as speciously separate’”. / Marek Krajewski about Błęcki’s artworks. (The Young Lynxes Prize).
Monika Czyżyk (b.1989) is a visual artist living and working in Helsinki, Finland. She is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków and the Helsinki University of the Arts. She relocates and participates in hybrid socio-institutional formations seeking out topics and materials created within these collaborative communities and later translates them into forms of moving image, installation, photographs and performances. Her research interrogates the changing face of alienation in contemporary society and global communities of women. She has been experimenting with various forms of moving image. Her experimentations with the camera tend to culminate in short films that oscillate between fiction and documentary. (The Young Lynxes Prize).
Povilas Romanauskas (b. 1987) graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Arts. He has been working as the lecturer at the Vilnius Academy of Arts, Faculty of Kaunas since 2017. His main creative field is contemporary painting, objects and installations. He tries to question the limits of common understanding towards contemporary painting through the aspects of new techniques, materials and concepts of contemporary art. The idea of his artworks is to show that contemporary painting, or painting as a medium, is quite versatile on the whole: while absorbing other media, while mixing with other visual expressions, painting remains. Painting is a very large, flexible and wide-ranging medium. The main motive of his work is very simple and clear – the painting. The boundaries of painting, the search for its expansion through other media. He has been looking for different ways, surfaces, substances and shapes to extend the paint. (The Young Lynxes Prize).
Szymon Szewczyk (b. 1989) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice. He creates paintings, objects, collages and installations. In his projects, he focuses on the relations between humans and their surroundings, both in terms of the material as well as cultural. He likes to find a non-obvious connection between phenomena that seem to be distant. He finds fascinating the theories of conspiracies, creative quick fix, temporality or cheap DIY materials. Further, he is interested in excess of the information, dubious scientific texts, deadpans, trash, imitations, disturbance, errors, bogus rituals, tamed exoticism, doubt in organised knowledge of the world. (The Young Lynxes Prize &The Carte Blanche Prize, the exhibition’s opening will take place on the 17th of November).
Agata Wieczorek (b. 1992) is based in Łódź, where she is currently completing her Master degree in the Direction of Photography at the Film School in Łódź. She previously graduated from the Strzeminski Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź, where she studied graphic arts and painting. Wieczorek’s practice combines film, photography, and animation. She incorporates both documentary studio-based approaches. For her work, she often enters hermetic environments and works with socially marginalised groups to explore uncommon understandings of identity, self, and gender. (The Young Lynxes Prize).
Alicja Wróblewska – a student of the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava. In her works, she uses various media of expression like film, photography, collage, installation. She takes photography but also creates objects (ready-made), constituting the extension of a photograph. All of her projects have in common the conceptual perspective, based on the arrangement of created scenes, spaces, objects. Through this perspective, she aims at showing the effects of dependencies, which are born out of man – capitalism and globalisation relation. She is interested in what consequences the above-mentioned dependencies have on the everyday life of a man, his private life, his environment. How the products of capitalism, e.g. plastic objects, destroy the environment that surrounds us and thus lead to degradation, not only of nature but also of our thinking. (The Young Lynxes Prize).
THE YOUNG LYNXES & CARTE BLANCHE PRIZE is organised by Contemporary Lynx Magazine, LETO, Biała and Grupa Warszawa. The sponsor of the cash prize is PURO Hotels.