Marek Szczesny: Intranquillité
Galerie Dutko is pleased to present from April 24 to June 5, 2021, an exhibition of works by the painter Marek Szczesny (born 1939). For its first major presentation in Paris, some fifteen paintings – including eight monumental works – will be exhibited. Texts by art critic Andrzej Turowski, as well as artist and curator Gilles Altieri will complement this exhibition.
In Marek Szczesny’s paintings, forms are arranged in layers, sometimes immersing themselves in the transparency of glazes, other times concealing their existence in the density of pigments. They also develop on the surface, attracting and repelling each other. Sometimes they cling to each other, creating sequences of forms with an uncertain balance. At other times, they drip as if left to their own devices. From the almost monochrome canvases, shades of chromatic tones emerge: browns broken with white or coated with red, blues leaning towards gray or green, whites penetrated with sienna and matte grays that take on the depth of silver, without forgetting the black of the lines and shapes saturating the background or resonating on the surface.
The lines painted in a single gesture, albeit with a surveyor’s precision, cover the territory of the painting, tracing the paths, side roads, dead ends and roads of a pictorial map full of concavities, cavities and protuberances. Topography plays a very important role in Szczesny’s work, as a transfiguration of landscapes and place, of infinity and the ultimate.
What does it mean to be a painter today? What does it mean to cover canvases with pigments? What does it mean to confront gaze and surface? It is not a question of dispelling doubts but of returning to the fundamental question of the condition of painting in a world overflowing with seductive media, planetary spectacles, virtual spaces and omnipresent ideologies. Marek Szczesny’s relationship to painting is not an aesthetic problem, but an ethical one. A painting based on ethics is the art of constructed form, and it has its own history that needs to be reworked, and a metaphysics that needs to be excavated. The fact of “remaking” the painting (because there is in that, an incessant process of disassembling and reassembling), thus does not constitute in his art the abandonment of the contemporary ground, but the difficult attempt to settle there differently.