Cezary Poniatowski


2018, plywood, acrylic paint, synthetic leather, staples, 125 × 102 cm

At first glance, the monochromatic bas-relief appears to be abstract. The composition has been developed using the artist’s trademark angular forms cut out from plywood, wood, and faux leather-covered upholstery foam. While all are black, each one reflects light differently, the exposed heads of nails and upholstery staples shining the brightest. Upon closer inspection, the eye begins searching for discernible shapes: a seated bulky figure surrounded by shapes resembling comic-book speech bubbles occupies the central section of the piece. Plywood with a regular pattern of drilled holes resembles the latticing of a confession box viewed from the inside. Cezary Poniatowski calls his works negatives of reality. To him, they are a visual interpretation of a mental state referred to as “de-realisation”, a sense of detachment from reality, triggered by the defence mechanism of an overstimulated brain.

b. 1987, Olsztyn

graphic arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. His trademark style of black-and-white angular forms suspended somewhere between representation and abstraction was swiftly noticed by the art community. In 2013, Poniatowski won the Eugeniusz Geppert Competition, claiming one of the most important awards for young Polish painters. His monochromatic paintings and drawings bring traditions of calligraphy or the graffiti aesthetic to mind, while his sculpted objects and installations hint at the surreal and grotesque. He lives and works in Warsaw.

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