No 1 (97) 2014
January - March

About Winners and Rules

Iwa Kruczkowska-Król and Bartosz Kokosiński, the winners of the EXIT quarterly award during the Bielska Autumn Painting Biennial, and their achievements have been an example of technical and conceptual artistry that should serve as an example to follow.

Jerzy Truszkowski

B. in 1961. Visual artist and curator of exhibitions by the 70’s and 80’s new vanguard artists. As of 1992 he has cooperated with the Art Exhibitions Bureau Bielska Gallery in Bielsko-Biała, as an artist and curator.

Jerzy Truszkowski

THE PAINTING BY THE FORMER CAN BE CHARACTERIZED BY INCREDIBLE PRECISION of realistic depiction and construction of frames against a deeply philosophical background. The objects by the latter "use" things originating from the real world in a remarkable, intelligent manner, exceeding the "ready made object".

Iwa Kruczkowska-Król has placed her observation point behind the backs of Japanese women dressed in traditional kimonos. Ladies sitting in front of the "Zen garden" in a Japanese temple have been observed by the author from behind. The artist's and viewers' position bring about a reflection on the contemplation process and persons immersed in this. Not everybody knows that white stretches in the "garden" have been made of small pebbles, the so called grit to symbolize the sea. This sea, in turn, symbolizes the "sea of mind". The stones are being raked so as to form a visible arrangement of little "waves". This is the symbol of mind vibrations. Islands on this "sea" (large stones grown with moss) are unchanging elements of the cosmic mind.

On the second picture Japanese women are watching a realistic, and simultaneously symbolic scene. Golden an colorful carps - that are swirling in the water and jumping up above its surface - are living creatures, while symbolizing the movement and energy of a number of minds. In the Japanese tradition these have been bred for decorative purposes and to bring good luck. The author has purposefully chosen a frame where a viewer can observe two levels of living creatures. The picture provokes a thought on differences and similarities between humans and fishes. The sky has been reflected in the water, just as the surrounding world is reflected in man's mind.

Bartosz Kokosiński has placed wavy, red fabric within a golden, oval frame. Carefully composed and arranged material suggests a curtain veiling the picture. In the "Picture that Devours a Religious Motive" corners of wedged, gray canvas hide a number of cult objects. In fact there very many of them, however, in the multitude a viewer sees the artist's effort to arrange the apparent chaos.

Iwa Kruczkowska-Król and Bartosz Kokosiński have pursued completely different media, nevertheless, their works have been present on two editions of the Painting Biennial in Bielsko-Biała, clearly standing out against other pieces that could be easily classified within a popular, easily recognizable trend. The works by the two artists, distinguished by the EXIT quarterly, have introduced a very rare today combination of technical mastery and deep reflection.

I cannot say many words of praise about other winners of the latest and former - held two years ago - "Bielska Atumn", while the 2007 Grand Prix laureates - Wojtek Kubiak and Lidia Krawczyk presented pictures that met all the highest requirements with regard to both, technique and concept (the awarded works include "B" and "I. and L." from the "Genderqueer" series).

I believe personally that Grzegorz Stachańczyk, a painter whose artistry equals the 17th century German masters, should be a member of the Bielsko-Biała Biennial jury.

The latest exhibition by Stachańczyk held in Warsaw transfixed with technique mastery, and philosophical and vanitas message.

Further, I would suggest that the main exhibition of the "Bielska Autumn" should show at least one painting work by each of the jurors, providing they are not art historians, so as the participants have an opportunity to see skills of those who judge them. In my opinion Iwa Kruczkowska-Król could easily join a jury of any painting competition.

Iwa Kruczkowska-Król, Bartosz Kokosiński, Winners of the EXIT quarterly awards on the "Bielska Autumn" Painting Biennial 2011 and "Bielska Autumn" 2013.