"Living in a material world" is a presentation of works by five artists affiliated with the Krakow-based Henryk Gallery, for whom matter, defined in the broadest of terms, is a central theme or method of expression. Paweł Dudziak (b. 1987) shifts between documentary and conceptual photography. His series of a dozen or so photographs considers the nature of texture, which lies in a part of the ruins of a funeral home in Plaszow or in a plastic trimming that mimics the appearance of marble. The objects shot according to the parameters set out by the photographer (high contrast, high grain, experiments with scale) take on a purely abstract character. For Adrian Kolerski (b, 1986), form dictates the aesthetic values of a work. The artist’s primary media are painting, drawing and object, however the bounds of each are fluid. He often limits himself to a narrow colour spectrum in his works, while also doing away with elements that fulfill the purpose of narrative, often falling into a typically minimalist aesthetic. In reducing the painterly form, Kolerski highlights the physical quality of painting, as he himself says: “it comes of a fear of being caught up by subjects that have nothing to do with me or saying things that are unnecessary”. Michał Sroka (b.1984) makes use of the artistic expression of sculpture, architecture and painting in creating site-specific installations. He uses raw materials, construction materials: metal, industrial paint, drywall, chipboard and spackle. He’s also eager to work on discarded materials or found objects. It’s no coincidence that Sroka’s studio is located in a teletechnical plant, part of the Krakow Industrial Circle.  Katarzyna Szymkiewicz (b. 1989) creates works painted on canvas that has been stretched over cardboard and modeling foam. The resilience of her materials is as much an obstacle, as a source of inspiration. The composition that arises out of a series of parts is constantly undergoing a change. She works in categories of style: form, shape and colour. Adding a material or improving its initial form brings to life a new, autonomous work. Eliasz Styrna (b. 1989) believes that shape, texture and colour can have their own particular sound. The artist’s task is a complex one. If a well-executed translation of that which is seen into that which is said is a generally difficult process, then the translation of what is seen into sound, which is the challenge that Styrna has adopted, isn’t just a remarkably difficult method of expression, but also a completely creative method of interpretation. His acoustic productions are subject to the same language as the media-based works of the other artists. At the same time, a piece may have its own weight, density or texture. Styrna’s productions are the concrete foundation for particular elements within the show.

The selection of works may not be fully representative of contemporary formalism, as the artists come from a specific milieu. The matter presented in the show (represented, interpreted, created) is a building block of visual text (an orderly series of symbols). What figures above all is the question whether one material can be compared 1:1 with regard to a specific tendency among these representatives of the young generation of artists

Aleksander Celusta

MIchał Sroka, Adrian Kolerski, Eliasz Styrna, Katarzyna Szymkiewicz, Paweł Dudziak