Wojciech Gilewicz’s Sale

Wojciech Gilewicz’s Sale

BWA Wrocław - Galleries of Contemporary Art

April 8, 2011

15 April–15 May 2011

Closing event to be held during Museums’ Night on
14 May 2011, 6:00 PM–midnight

50-149 Wroclaw
Wita Stwosza 32
info [​at​] bwa.wroc.pl


11:00 AM–6:00 PM

Organization and production:
BWA Wrocław

Piotr Stasiowski

Educational workshops coordinator:
Joanna Stembalska

Educational film for the exhibition by:
Telewizja PlePle in cooperation with Karolina Vysata

In his previous projects Wojciech Gilewicz experimented with realism by setting his radical, mimetic paintings into the urban tissue, and allowing them to merge irrevocably. In his latest exhibition, he turns this process on its head, bringing both himself and his work to the windows of Wrocław’s BWA Awangarda Gallery. Throughout the month of the exhibition, he will be painting in the gallery, revealing his technique to a more or less accidental audience of visitors and passers-by. At the same time, he extends an invitation to anyone who would like to try their hand at painting, offering them a ready, blank canvas in the gallery space. Any paintings thus created by members of the public under the artist’s watchful eye will be signed by Gilewicz himself, reflecting a practice found in the studios of the art world’s leading lights. This participative element is also a reference to several of his earlier projects in urban spaces, where he left painting supports in randomly selected places in expectation of the fact that urban and atmospheric conditions, as well as the grassroots actions of anonymous passers-by, would fill in the blank canvases. The process he wants to put into effect in BWA is designed to answer the question as to whether a similar situation, when repeated in a gallery space, will alter in meaning. The nature of the shared act of painting will be that of a willing contact with a traditional medium and a spontaneous stimulus to paint, the intended effect of which will be to create a kind of anonymous palimpsest of an artist multiplied. In a sense, the undertaking will call into question the role of the artist in creating their works and their moral responsibility for the substance of their canvas.

Elsewhere in the gallery, projects which Gilewicz has been working on and continually adding to over the past few years will be on display, projects such as his oft-repainted series of monochromes. Calling upon Barnett Newman’s classic paintings of fields of colour, he reinterprets the postulate for the complete opening up of the image and its liberation from the framework of composition and from any arrangement whatsoever which stands in contradiction to the spirit of free choice. The work involved completely repainting the canvas a uniform color time and again. Video documentation reveals the process; the painting itself, however, hides many layers laid one on top of another and imperceptible to the viewer. Newman often emphasized the social dimension of his work, which is free from all enforced interpretation and created discourse. Gilewicz’s ‘productions’, played out in the presence of an audience, often on the very streets of the city, gain an additional meaning in this same, social sense. Working on his paintings in Shanghai, Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine, Bat Yam in Israel, and in New York, Gilewicz poses questions, in a variety of ways, about the state of the modern painting and its relation to the reality to which it is dedicated.

On the one hand, the ‘Sale’ of the title is intended as a clearance of the ideals of the artist’s romantic status, questioning his role in creatio ex nihilo. On the other hand, though, the ‘sale’ will be treated as a reference to the mass and repeated production of objects deprived of the individual features and character of their originals. By repainting successive layers on to the canvas, or by recreating random objects by means of the painter’s medium, the distinction between the original and the reproduction will be made and re-elaborated once again in the times beyond the modernist and postmodernist fever.

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BWA Wrocław - Galleries of Contemporary Art
April 8, 2011

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