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The exhibition “Works of Indifference” concerns, in a nutshell, a feeling of senselessness in performing one’s work, both artistic – in the sense of manual creation of art, and in a broader context – acting in general. The tiredness with repeating movements, accumulating and taming materials and tools, as well as the feeling of wasting time concerns not only people who create art, but also everyone who practices almost any profession or even daily work. At the same time artists are frequently characterized by the necessity, deep and zealous, to perform arduous activities. Sometimes it is based on the rhythmical repetition and contemplation of the simplest objects, as in the works of Andrzej Szewczyk. On a different occasion, as in case of Bartosz Kokosiński, the attitude towards one’s own work constantly balances on the verge of joy andtorment at the same time. Although the artist clearly derives joy from the idea of the Image as such, he does not shy away from acts of aggression towards the canvases, frames and paper on which he creates. His paintings either “devour” the surrounding reality, or swell, burst and fall off the stretchers as if at certain moments the artist lost control over them.
Kokosiński expresses his helplessness in relation to the matter of art and its principle most clearly in the film “Litany” presented in the Pulsar Gallery. He performs a kind of an act of self-therapy, but at the same time provides an ironic commentary on the situation of an artist functioning, in the simplest terms, here and now.
On the other hand, Szewczyk’s creation of images was closer to the eastern tradition of writing icons than the individualistic expression celebrated in the western world. The artist, however, used materials that could possibly be deemed unnecessary, a worthless part of something more valuable, “residues” such as shells from pistachios or scraps left after sharpening the crayons. Another time, like in one of the works presented at the exhibition, he used old wallpapers, creating a kind of a manuscript – a record of form, spiritual experiences, but also simply the very act of “working.”
This honest approach of both artists toward art seems to be liberating for them, but also for the audience. The stereotype that the creation comes easily to the creator, often gives the viewer a sense of reluctance, both when we deal with a work which is manually perfect (“because I can’t do it”), and when the form seems too simple (“anyone could do that “). Maybe we could try to reverse this situation and try again to look “over the artist’s shoulder,” to see how he struggles with everyday effort, how he is irritated by the convention of art, how he tolerates defeats. Perhaps then the works presented at the exhibition would appeal to viewers in a different way, as metaphors of a common experience, closeness to art and everyday life, and even simply human imperfection of both of these spheres.
Curator: Anna Ciabach
He is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. In 2009 he obtained a diploma at the Faculty of Painting. A four-time scholarship holder of the stipend of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. In 2015, he received a distinction at the 42nd Biennale of Painting “Bielska Jesień.” Multiple finalist of the Kompas Młodej Sztuki ranking, in 2017 he was listed first on the list for the third time. Author of individual exhibitions and participant of numerous group exhibitions. In 2017, one could see, among others: his project “Moment cutting the dowel” at the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, individual exhibitions “Community of Images of Density” in the Sopot State Art Gallery and “Pastel Blocks” in the Warsaw Monopol Gallery and shows at Galeria Biała in Lublin (together with Paweł Matyszewski) and at the Kunstmuseum Solingen.
(born 1950, died 2001)
In the years 1974-1978 he studied art education at the University of Silesia in Cieszyn. He lived and worked for the rest of his life in the nearby Kaczyce Górne, away from the artistic centers. He dealt with painting, sculpture, drawing and created environments. In 1977, he began exhibiting at the famous Warsaw Foksal Gallery, with which he was associated for over two decades. He participated in numerous exhibitions in Poland and abroad.
His works can be found in the collections of the Museum of Art in Łódź and the Zachęta Gallery in Warsaw or the Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom.