NEXT TO SACRUM | exhibition of paintings by Mikołaj Malesza
NEXT TO THE SACRUM
Artist: Mikołaj Malesza
Place: Galeria 101 Projekt
Curator: Paulina Świerczyńska-Brzezińska
The specific style of Mikołaj Malesza’s work is due not only to the characteristic choice of formal expression, but also to his experience gained over the years. These elements are particularly visible in the figural compositions, which are filled with characters and places from the real world and fantastic visions. Another subject is landscapes - strongly associated with Mikołaj Malesza's youth in a Podlasie village on the edge of the Knyszyńska Forest. These paintings put the viewer in a state of melancholic reverie. Apart from the interweaving of real places and figures with surrealistic images, an important element is the parallel presence of the spheres of the sacred and the profane. Some paintings automatically bring to mind icons; however in the artist's works, the figures of saints are accompanied by "ordinary" people or animals, and everyday life crosses the border reserved for the sphere of the sacred, bringing it closer to the viewer. These paintings tell a story about complex relations functioning in the world, about human relations with God, where the real and and the imaginary exist side by side. Formally, Mikołaj Malesza uses sparing, but very suggestive means of expression, such as contrasting colours or strong contours. Compositions made of motifs placed on undefined, often uniform backgrounds, allow the viewer to focus the attention on important things. The figures are also accompanied by composition elements bordering on abstract forms. They get blurred, ending in sometimes unobvious moments. All this adds up to consistently original work which has been appreciated for years.
(b. 1954, Krynki) - After graduating from the State College of Fine Arts in Suprasl, he studied at the Faculty of Interior Design of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He obtained his diploma with honours in 1979. He has been involved in painting, stage design and exhibition. He has had about 40 individual exhibitions of paintings and participated in dozens of exhibitions of Polish painting in Poland and abroad, including Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, England, Czechoslovakia, Austria, the USA, Japan, Bulgaria, Italy, France, Lithuania and Ukraine. He has received numerous awards and distinctions. He is the author of about 80 stage designs. In 1991-2003 he was a stage designer for the Wierszalin Society Theatre, with which he was a triple winner of the Fringe First award at the largest European theatre festival in Edinburgh. As a stage designer, he has been collaborating with Polish theatres for many years, for which he has received numerous individual awards. In 2010, he received the Silver Medal "Gloria Artis for Merit to Culture" awarded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. In 2013 he received the "Henry" award granted by ZASP.