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current exhibition


Artist: Piotr C. Kowalski

Place: Galeria 101 Projekt

Date: 15.05.2021

Hours: 11:00-24:00

Curator: Paulina Świerczyńska-Brzezińska

The beginning of the admiration for painting is usually a visual experience. In case of Piotr C. Kowalski's exhibition it was completely different. The idea was born under the influence of the radio broadcast "Beavers and frost paint pictures" (the OFF Czarek broadcast on TOK FM on 11/12/2020) - a multidimensional story about an artist who fights with the forces of nature in the name of his art ... doesn't fight actually, because he gets along with it very well. Even when he has to face the element, he can translform it into over ten years of tradition of practicing the correspondence art. It is also a story about the power of coincidence that led Piotr C. Kowalski to the radio and ultimately to us. And above all, it is a story about a painting that few have had the opportunity to admire. During this year's Night of Museums we will have the opportunity to activate all senses - not only hearing about the work, but also seeing it, and even smelling it.The painting by Piotr C. Kowalski does not smell of varnish or paint binder. It smells of nature that co-created it. These are the scents of water, wind, rain and snow - unpredictable tools that the artist uses to create fascinating large-scale abstract compositions. Nature leaves its mark on the canvas and becomes a testimony of time, in this case of one year. It is a unique exhibition, a different one - just like the last year was different. But does it not actually smuggle in the element of normality and allows us to find ourselves in the natural cycle of the seasons. Whatever happens, in Nienawiszcz the wind blows and the rain falls (maybe only frost and snow cannot always be counted on), and the artist has to paint the picture Paulina Świerczyńska-Brzezińska


Pictures from the "Living Nature" cycle have been created continuously since 1997 and always have the same format, ie 205 x 360 cm. But to make it easier to transport, I decided to make them consist of 6 parts, i.e. 205 x 60 cm. Due to the large format, the painting could not stand on an easel or even on two easels, so I came up with my own kind of outdoor easel, which consisted in digging a hole in the ground up to half a meter long and deep in the ground and inserting these 6 stretcher bars chained together into the hole. The canvas stayed at such a place as long as the painting has been created, that sometimes could last for a month or much longer, no matter whether it was raining, or there was a storm or a strong wind that could break the painting. I never took this canvas home or to the studio, as it was located in kind of a natural studio. This place of my choice has always been my studio. It happened more than once that random intruders wrote ugly words or cut the canvas with a knife.These paintings were made in different places, at different times of the year and at different heights, e.g. in the woods, in quarries, in a gravel pit, in the mountains and on the seashore. Initially, I painted them with oil paints, and by the way, everything that was nearby stuck to the picture in a natural way: sand, cones, shells, pebbles, broken children's toys, which neither the parents wanted to take with them, nor the sea would not take them away. In the pictures painted on the Lednicka Island near Gniezno, there are even authentic pottery shells from the 10th century. Really. Later, these pictures were painted with natural dyes, which were abundant nearby, that is: blueberries, elderberry, red rowan or bird cherry. On the other hand, in the city, on the streets, the pictures were "painted" with dust, dirt and mud splashing from passing cars. I also have such city pictures, made in various Polish cities, all written from top to bottom, also on two sides. The last two canvases were created in December and January at Plac Wolności in Poznań. The first one, painted by the striking women, is titled "WYPIERDALAJ" (literally: "Get the fuck out"), because most of these words were on it, and the second one, "JESZCZE BĘDZIE PRZEPIEKNIE, JESZCZE BĘDZIE NORMALNIE" (literally: "Still will be beautiful, still will be normal"), painted by students from my Painting Studio X in UAP, where, as you know, it's not allowed to now it is allowed to paint at the University, but in the Plac Wolności (The Liberty Square), of course. So we painted. As I wrote, the paintings were created in different places and in different conditions, but never before have the paintings of this series been created directly in water. That is why over a year ago I made such a bold decision and placed the canvas on the bottom of the pond that is located near the house. The canvas was there for four seasons. It was launched on September 3, 2019. In winter, I thought I would be able to climb the ice and paint a picture. But, unfortunately, there was no frost last year.I thought to myself, whatever happens, I have to paint the picture. So I built myself a raft out of construction pallets and plastic bottles. I swam, but did not reach the painting, because the raft broke and I fell into the water. I built a second raft. I swam up to the painting a few times, but it must have been impossible for me to paint, because each time I fell into the water. But fortunately, the picture was painting itself. I did not interfere. I just admired and photographed the process. The water level changed and the background changed. There is only mule and only muck on the canvas. This painting also has its own unique smell. The smell of the pond water, silt and slime. And the capture of the finished image took place on September 2, 2020. Piotr C. Kowlaski


Piotr C. Kowalski was born in 1951 in Mieszków near Jarocin. He degended the diploma in painting in the studio of professor Stanisław Teisseyre at the PWSSP in Poznań in 1978. In the years 1993 – 1999 he was the dean of the Faculty of Artistic Education of the State Higher School of Fine Arts in Poznań. Since 2000, he has been running the student gallery "Na Polskiej" in Poznań. Curator of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Collection of the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań in the years 2003-2005. At the University of Arts in Poznań, he is the head of the 10th Painting Studio. In 2010-2014 at the Academy of Art in Szczecin, and in 2014-2017 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław, he also ran Painting Studios. The author of a series of paintings realized directly in nature, entitled Live nature - Still life, and the pictures of Passers-by being a record of the city life and created with the participation of other people. Since 2004, together with Joanna Janiak, he has been working on the Megabytes of Paintings and Frosty Pictures cycles.