An exhibition of paintings by Wioletta Kulewska
Upper galleries Palazzo de La Salle Valletta
1st February – 1st March 2018
A collection of abstract, biomorphic paintings by Wioletta Kulewska, inspired by the marine fossil remains found inside Maltese limestone.
From its greensand beaches, its coralline cliffs, to the limestone used in the construction of its buildings — all the rock found in the Maltese archipelago contains petrified lifeforms.
Like an ancient fabric of memories, the prehistoric life recorded in Maltese rock dates back some 35 million years.
Painting in oils with use of gold leaf, and using a technique of printing plaster sculpture directly onto the canvas, Kulewska recreates the elemental process of fossilisation, and explores themes of embodiment, resemblance and disappearance.
The vestiges of these prehistoric lifeforms inspire a series of meditations in oil — on fragility, the infinite and the sublime.
Malta School of Art | Upper Gallery | Valletta
Exhibition dates 15th July – 26 July 2019
‘ABACA’ is Wioletta Kulewska’s second solo exhibition and presents six new works created during a residency in the former industrial city of Barreiro, outside Lisbon, in Spring 2019.
The series continues Kulewska’s experimentation in abstraction, in which each of six canvases presents gently geometric forms set against a subdued background. Some of these coloured shapes appear as if folded like paper or cloth, as three-dimensional objects, or as delicately crenelated forms. The shapes seem to float in ‘infinite’ space, reminiscent of the Russian Suprematist painters, the art movement founded by Kazimir Malevich, who frequently used “the white” to represent a state of transcendence.
Drawing on constructivist painting, the specificity of each shape’s design approximates human technology and industrial purpose, whether as garment cloth, machine patterns or printing tools, but these forms also suggest a human playfulness and movement, or perhaps a primitive, dream-like language.
Abacá, the title of the exhibition, derives from the abacá plant, originating from the Philippines and used in industry as a major source of high quality fibre prior to the introduction of synthetic textiles. A material used in cordage, hatmaking, teabags, carpeting, clothing and furniture, abacá featured prominently in the city of Barreiro, the site of Kulewska’s residency, before it was phased out with the city’s deindustrialisation in the early 1970s. - text by Andrew Gow
PADA Gallery space - Lisbon - Spring 2019
Artist in Residence Group Show
Installation view - Summer 2018
Slade School of Fine Arts in London
Painting in Contemporary Practice