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Przemek Matecki | Fire at the Museum

August 16 - September 15, 2018

Przemek Matecki

Curator: Łukasz Gorczyca

Opening: Thursday, August 16th, at 20:00

Gallery talk with the artist and the curator: Friday, August 17th, at 12:00


Przemek Matecki is an abstract painter, a zombie formalist, a surrealist, a creator of neo pop, and an adherent of art brut, all at the same time. Working comfortably across a range of mental spaces, he belongs to a generation of artists subjecting the painted image to endless trials. Created with passion and joy, his works are perplexing – it seems that nothing fits: a painter, a sculptor and an amateur working together on a painting.


The show begins with a spatial joke, a disruption of the architecture of the exhibition space – two additional pillars echoing the original pillar in the gallery space. The multiple pillars become an additional display area where a selection from one of the artist’s most recent series is presented: Small Paintings (created since 2016). In this series, Matecki takes on the vastness of art. Art, including his own, is treated by Matecki as a collection of manifestations and forms of various degrees of liveliness and openness. Based on the open source principle, they can be exploited freely and endlessly: processed, reproduced, destroyed, and recreated upside down.


Disruption and the juxtaposition of contradictory energies and gestures are fundamental techniques in Matecki’s practice as a painter. For over a decade, a leading motif in his work has been the combination of paint with mechanically reproduced photographic images. Abstract, multihued painting textures are combined with photos and reproductions clipped from magazines; crude jokes are joint with technically refined, multilayered montages. Each time this collision between abstract material and sampling from current visual culture assumes a somewhat different character.


Matecki's sources of inspiration include art itself, as well as trash metal music, online streaming of pictures, and stacks of magazines thrown out by a neighbor. A tangible symbol of this fecundity is the heavy piles of superfluous exhibition catalogs and art magazines which the artist collects from friends, galleries and institutions and then browses through in search of inspiring material for his own work. Matecki gives new life to reproductions, transforming them into puzzling, witty miniature oil paintings, with a format not exceeding a frame of a 20×20 cm square, parodying the meaning of the quoted works much along the lines of internet memes.


The same everyday creative restlessness is found in another series of works displayed in the show – oil drawings, which are interventions on pages cut out of magazines. The show also includes paintings/assemblages created in cooperation with renowned sculpture, performance and collaboration artist Paweł Althamer (b. 1967). The two artists document sessions shared over many hours, a kind of dematerialized intoxication, the vital fruits of a fascination with the possibilities for joint action.


Taking as his point of departure the excrements and garbage (also literally) of contemporary visual and material, Matecki's art has a radical and experimental nature. Vulgar at times, his works flirt with pornography and politics, only to win (in a somewhat unclear way) the forces of evil over to his side. The vision of creating something interesting using fire consuming freshly completed paintings would seem just as suitable.



Przemek Matecki (b. 1976 in Żagań, lives and works in Warsaw) studied at the Art Department of the University in Zielona Gora. He is co-founder and member of "Płetwonurki Szczurki" music group and originator and founder of "Pracownia Tfurczosci Dojrzalej." Matecki has had solo shows at Zachęta - National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, CCA Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw, Raster Gallery, Warsaw, Galeria Platan, Budapest, Progress Gallery, Paris, Carlier Gebauer, Berlin, and Hollybush Gardens, London, among others. His works have been shown in various group exhibitions worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Prague Biennale 4, Bunkier Sztuki and Stainglass Museum in Cracow, Museum Junge Kunst, Frankfurt/Oder, Regional Museum in Zielona Gora, BWA Tarnów, Gdańska Galeria Miejska, Galeria Labiryntin Lublin, BWA Awangarda in Wrocław, and Bel Etage in Berlin.


The exhibition is curated by Łukasz Gorczyca, the co-director of Raster Gallery, Warsaw. It is a second manifestation of a collaboration between the two galleries, which started with a joint exhibition in 2017, titled "The Finger," presenting the works of two artists represented by each gallery.


The exhibition is supported by The Polish Institute.



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