Karolina Bielawska fills The Other Room with her most recent painting installations. The exhibition is shown in the temporary seat of the Krupa Gallery. One of its elements, however, has been moved to a construction site – the rooms near the Market Square in Wrocław, which are undergoing a major overhaul to become the permanent seat of the gallery.
The works are composed of four layers of technical materials – OSB chipboard, quartz sand primer for levelling difficult surfaces, putty gypsum with glass fibre to smooth and reinforce the surface, and finally wall paint – acrylic enamel.
The compositions on the canvases look as though they followed a logical formula, a geometrical order similar to Le Corbusier’s Modulor. They are inscribed in a structure, they seem to follow it and simultaneously – to break free. The shapes divert from lines of symmetry, escape the subconsciously anticipated proportionate arrangements that could be described with a formula, equation or the golden ratio to introduce peacefulness through coherence. Actually, they are imperfect, just like real life. Abandoning the previously ideal forms is a powerful declaration – of weakness and freedom at the same time. The old order is no longer binding, a new stage of enforcing personal rules is approaching.
Karolina Bielawska’s works combine the significance of the employed materials and the artist’s solutions for painting and composition. The crude materials making up the outlines of the subsequent layers add up to hint at anthropomorphic features. They possess a potent load of emotional interpretation – about dreams, finding, struggling for and building a place of one’s own. It is a stage of transition. Transformation results from demolishment and reconstruction. After that comes the time when previously functional objects acquire aesthetic value and begin to bear all the hallmarks of a trace. Some things are beautiful only when they are no more. Remains can be more interesting than the whole.
Life is elsewhere, Milan Kundera wrote. So is your room, more often than in the place where you are actually present. It is an imaginary space consisting of the sum of associations and dreams. Mentally idealised rather than made of brick and mortar.
The rooms differ so completely; they are calm or thunderous; open on to the sea, or, on the contrary, give on to a prison yard; are hung with washing; or alive with opals and silks; are hard as horse-hair or soft as feathers—one has only to go into any room in any street for the whole of that extremely complex force of femininity to fly in one’s face.
[Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own]
Karolina Bielawska works with painting, usually in combination with objects and installations. She often refers to the space of home, urban aesthetics and architecture. She uses various painting techniques and materials, such as gypsum boards, enamels, impregnants.
She graduated from the Faculty of Media Art of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2015). Finalist of the Hestia Artistic Journey contest (2015) and recipient of the scholarship of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (2017). She has participated in exhibitions held in venues such as the Stefan Gierowski Foundation, Galeria Wschód, The Zachęta Project Room, Arsenal Gallery in Białystok, Znaki Czasu Centre for Contemporary Art, Glassyard Gallery. She lives and works in Warsaw.