No 4 (100) 2014
October - December

The Seen. The Painted

Most likely all these could have been seen in any other place in Poland: one-storey, little houses with asbestos-cement roofing, backyards, fields, painted wrought iron gates, lonely, sad dogs, a pack of sociable hens, or monumental cows, colorful washing hanging outside.

Lena Wicherkiewicz

Historian and art critic, curator. She publishes texts on contemporary art.

Lena Wicherkiewicz

IN SPITE OF THESE GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS, this has been a strictly defined location, in a small village in the vicinity of Ostrołęka, the site close to Magdalena Alicja Jędrzejczyk, an artist, this year graduate from the Painting Faculty of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. The "trivial things", registered on her pictures, offer a visible trace of personal approach, a sense of observation and painting oriented notation of impressions. This has been determined, strong, powerful, and extremely cheerful painting, though depicting miserable objects and views. Exactly, painting!

Simple things, common views and scraps of everyday reality seen from the perspective of painting. One does not have to go far, in order to see what is intriguing for painting. One's own, small piece of the world: bumpy roads, a roadside chapel, a railway crossing, a wall with a window, a little bridge over the river, a swaying fence. Ordinary stories approached from the "painting" point of view; beautifully, directly, cheerfully, frequently with a sense of humor and freshness. Sections of reality, everyday scenes seen under different angles: with a high horizon or a wide angle to show a vast lowland landscape. Cows, hens, little houses and backyards, agricultural machines have been a distinct sign of this spatial structure. The artist has coped with a hard to compose square size, and she managed to plan it harmoniously. Pictures have been constructed following clearly defined dominant features - palette, main form, composition related solutions and perspective scenes. Nevertheless, color - clear, bright, free - has been a leading quality of the pictures by Magdalena Jędrzejczyk. Applied in daring spots, expressive paintbrush touches, intense, nevertheless light. Her palette sensitivity has been quite strong - she selects resounding hues, frequently in a sophisticated contrast: the gray against bright orange, turquoise blue against a dot of brown, or nearly monochromatic juxtapositions of white and black to offer orchestrated, balanced grays.

The village landscape woven with rhythms and brisk spots. With a distinct differentiation of forms that seemingly lack contours. Open, free arrangements. Expressive severity and energy. A wide paintbrush touch, extensive "strong" spots of bright color, without a sense of tearful sentimentalism. Elements of the painting world defined clearly, tangible vast spots and severe outlines. There has been yet another characteristic feature of these pictures - a move towards the abstract understood as the autonomy of the painting language, freedom to offer multiple meaning suggestions, departure from geometry. The painting by Magdalena has been definitely the realm of an irregular spot, of the floating freedom of wide plains, of blurred lines. Focused more on expression than on representation. Emotional and full of essence. The personal realism.

Further, the pictures by Magdalena Jędrzejczyk seem to resemble more film frames, than purely painted compositions, though they have been moving in the latter direction. They reveal a photographic trail that is rather a testimony to the nature and the impact of our visual surroundings - the expression of a shutter, dispersion, photography like imaging - than a firm statement in favor of synthesis of photography and painting.

She talks about her oeuvre as a "pure-breed" painter, who is seeing reality through the structure of a picture and painting means. Her look is clear, pure and bold. I enjoy this painting, and I am happy with the daring reference to great Polish classics: Piotr Potworowski, Artur Nacht-Samborski, Jacek Sienicki. Painting qualities of simple things, an expressive sharp palette, color and composition sophistication - all this heritage has been present in the pictures by Magdalena, as though it were a foundation, a conscious trail, though definitely her work has not been imitative. The quotations have not been directly visible in the pictures, serving rather as their warp, background. Masters are to help to ask questions, to enter into a dialogue with, not to provide ready made  answers. And her? She has been firmly following her own path.

Magdalena Alicja Jędrzejczyk, "Asbestos-Cement Roofing Material", the Promotion Gallery SDK, Warsaw, October 2014.