What if you could unwrap the wrapped painting? What if you could just rip off the foil and finally indulge your purely humane desire to uncover something covered and to unveil the mystery?
The curtain has been partially lifted due to the early an later paintings by Michał Budny, which are displayed in the Viennese gallery. Their allure lies in the unraveling matter, in the translucent texture threading around them. Who knows? We may as well notice yet another painting underneath or divulge a closely guarded secret of the artist.
Budny’s paintings are strangely ephemeral. They seem as if they were caught in a moment of transition; as if they were sending the message saying “the current state of affairs doesn’t last forever.” The elusiveness of his works is additionally fortified by the artist’s keen interest in ephemeral and often immaterial phenomena. The notions explored by Budny include the silence, air, light and music. He tries to give them shape, to make them physical and thus easier for us to grasp. As a result, they are transfixed into the geometric and minimalist equivalents of these phenomena. Now, you are able to touch and describe the symbols of something that eludes the mundane experience. The paintings appeal to our senses. Their form, surface and structure make us recall the attributes of prototypes. On the other hand, these objects occupying certain space are exactly what we think they are: the shapes with texture and colour. What about the content? The stories are usually unwittingly written by people themselves. Because the mystery has to be resolved. Nonetheless, this is not always the case. The paintings of Budny have been deliberately comprising the references to the modernist architecture and every-day objects. Therefore, at least some part of the story is narrated by the author himself.
There are so many unanswered questions and the promises of stories involved that we can certainly ponder on the nature of the aforementioned mystery. Perhaps, it would throw light on what the art of painting really is. Perhaps, the mystery concerns some more down to earth matters, such as our earthly reality, and points to the elements of genuine lives that pass unnoticed in the heat of daily existence. Budny uses uncomplicated means of expression. His stories rest upon the commonplace materials that lie in the vicinity of every person: wood, plywood, film, aluminium and paper. It is hard to believe that someone could express some deeper complex truth with these primordial things that have been somehow marginalized in the age of an excessive consumption and ubiquitous ample products. The materials do in fact exist, but they balance on the verge of our interest. You can use, leave, lose and discard them since you can always get brand new and better ones. And so they are put aside. This situation inspired Budny to create the pieces exhibited in the gallery. He found materials in the yards and, gave some cloths, blankets and films a new lease of life. Nevertheless, they managed to keep their primal nature, the climate of those places and their original purpose. They whisper all that to the enchanted viewer’s ears.
In his works, Budny attempts to give shape to something without shape, to grasp the ungraspable, to describe the indescribable and to express something that can’t be expressed.
Written by: Dobromila Blaszczyk
Translated by: Karolina Jasińska
MICHAŁ BUDNY, Ashamed and Shameless, November 20, 2013 – January 18, 2014, Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Vienna, Austria