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Exhibition Opening Event – BETWEEN RELIEF & PAINTING by Piotr Bąk


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Exhibition Opening Event – BETWEEN RELIEF & PAINTING by Piotr Bąk

Great Hall

Friday, 7PM to 9PM
November 18, 2022


The Polish Museum of America



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The works of Piotr Bąk, held between painting and drawing, are primarily highly expressive. He makes his compositions on primed fibreboards. The range of colours is very narrow, limited to white, grey and black, and the appearing brown colours result from the applied materials (unprimed fibreboards). He presents his subjects in highly complicated spatial forms, which, suspended in an undefined plane, bend, break or stretch. Ideally balanced, they combine a soft biological line with geometrical objects. They may depict both a micro- and macro-universe. On the flat surfaces, the artist generates complicated forms which the viewer attempts to watch, or which the viewer attempts to glimpse into. It is a challenging task, because the multiplied and often intricate forms require more attention. Looking into, above, under and even between them, one can get lost. Due to the detailed and refined presentation of the world of diversified structures, one can come back to them endlessly.
When looking at Piotr Bąk’s works, whether individual ones or larger groups of them, we make two steps ahead and one step back, continuously returning to those works we have already seen. The multitude of details does not allow us to reach tranquility. We keep on exploring and coding. Each form, each line, each dot affects us in a completely different way, even with just a minimal change of distance or the angle of sight. We cannot be entirely certain whether, following the artist’s idea, we go deeper and deeper into the composition or we move away from the nature of the problem. Leaving behind a particular work, we need to come back to make sure - not about what we remember precisely - but to make sure whether the structure has not changed, left without our supervision. Whether in these intricately built halls and spaces a change has not taken place spontaneously or whether the elements have not moved. With every look, we discover them anew.
Watching the artist’s works, we do not remain in a complete comfort zone. We get used to such intense perception, because we need to invigilate strongly the paintings and the merging spots in them. Effortlessly, Piotr Bąk brings us into his world-universe in each of his works. The complicated, expressive and perfectly rendered forms draw us into an addictive game in which we cannot fully trust our own senses.

Paulina Śląska (Stępka)

b i o g r a p h y

He was born in Żywiec, Poland. He studied at the Faculty of Graphic Arts of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (the Katowice branch). He received a diploma with honours in 2001 from the Studio of Industrial Design supervised by Professor Jerzy Wuttke. In 2010, he was conferred the degree of doctor of fine arts, and in 2018 – the degree of habilitated doctor. In 2004, he began working in the Department of Design as an assistant at the Drawing and Painting Studio supervised by Professor Jan Dubiel. Since 2015, he has held the position of head of the Visual Arts Studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice. He also teaches drawing and painting at the University of Technology in Katowice and the Drawing and Graphics Studio at the Municipal Cultural Centre in Jastrzębie-Zdrój. He is the co-author of numerous polychrome works in churches. He has taken part in about 100 collective exhibitions in Poland and abroad and has had 24 individual exhibitions. He has also participated in several plein-air and post-plein-air exhibitions and numerous competitions and post-competition exhibitions.

b i o g r a m

Urodził się w Żywcu. Studiował na Wydziale Grafiki Akademii Sztuk Pięknych w Krakowie (filia w Katowicach). Dyplom z medalem otrzymał w 2001 roku w Pracowni Projektowania Form Przemysłowych u prof. Jerzego Wuttke. W 2010 uzyskał stopień doktora sztuki, a w 2018 uzyskał habilitację. Od 2004 roku pracował na stanowisku asystenta w Pracowni Rysunku i Malarstwa na kierunku wzornictwo u prof. Jana Dubiela. Od roku 2015 prowadzi Pracownię Sztuk Wizualnych na Akademii Sztuk Pięknych w Katowicach. Prowadzi również zajęcia z rysunku i malarstwa w Wyższej Szkole Technicznej w Katowicach oraz Studium Rysunku i Grafiki w MOK w Jastrzębiu-Zdroju. Jest współautorem wielu polichromii w kościołach. Wziął udział w około 100 wystawach zbiorowych w kraju i za granicą oraz zrealizował 24 pokazy indywidualne. Brał udział w kilkunastu plenerach i wystawach poplenerowych oraz licznych konkursach i wystawach pokonkursowych.


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