By ADAM HNOJIL (curator)
IN THE REALM OF SUBTLE BEAUTY
ABOUT THE PAINTINGS OF RADKA BODZEWICZ
The paintings of Radka Bodzewicz are an invitation to enter a remarkably poetic and inexplicably inspiring world. Hers is a remarkably original art with extraordinary character, declaring that the contemporary art does not have to be a vacuous idea imitating the more famous foreign models. The artist produces artistically and formally mature works revealing a noticeable development of her earlier creative output which, nevertheless, she constantly reevaluates. She gradually started to place the greatest emphasis on the subject matter of her compositions that are predominantly figurative. Her unique visions are hard to understand here and there and provoke powerful emotions. This is a basis of all her art. The world she creates forces the viewer to enter and explore her compositions. They definitely are not pictures intended for a brief survey; they call for a long contemplation. They often raise important questions and are always captivating. On initial consideration, the compositions appear to be lost within the whole, and only a closer look makes one realize they contain a rich realm of fantasy. The artist’s exceptional focus on detail, her precision and understanding the potential of ornament provide a platform for her dialogue with the art of different cultures. For example, Chinese, Japanese, Persian, Polynesian and African artifacts the visual vocabularies of which were a powerful impulse for European art as early as around 1900. It is, however, not possible to state with absolute certainty they were also a source of inspiration for Radka. In the same way, the distant echo of the Central European avant-garde (Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka) is purely coincidental. There are certain similarities between the artist and the similarly unique Giuseppe Arcimboldo who, like Radka Bodzewicz today, composed his hyperbolic stories on a much smaller scale. The more there is no problem today to look back to the past, the more it is possible to realize that artists were using analogical solutions regardless of temporal and spatial context. As for the form, Radkas' paintings remotely resemble Rorschach’s tests. Unlike them, they are not projective tests but rather the artist’s need to express, on a limited surface, her own social network with the entire web of interpersonal relationships. This is especially relevant in times of social fragmentation. The artist transforms real experiences by means of her own narration and creates great stories (of almost mystical nature) which, using the example of thinking of a single individual, can be a mirror to society. It is actually a need to verbalize the micro-world with the potential ambition to turn it into the macro-world. What should be the essence of art? To exploit and influence the world around us. What is interesting, is the artist’s rejection of individual perspective planes. This technique, known since the Renaissance period, allows the artist to free herself from the classic perspective and provides her with a platform for more effective formulation of visual structure. Thanks to this strategy, her works, unlike those created by other artists, will be exempt from temporal context in the future and very possibly timeless. Moreover, owing to their universal message, they will, in a way, also be able to communicate humanistic ethos. The eruption of her imagination is amazing, even though it is not as intense as the majority of works created by contemporary artists. This is a very endearing quality of her art – it is not excessively busy, yet, at the same time, it does not need a commentary. It inspires contemplation. The artist’s approach to her compositions is to create her own legends and narratives, gradually adding individual scenarios. Her works are sometimes not dissimilar to automatic drawings. By all means, Radka Bodzewicz is one of the most original artists of the younger generation. It is practically impossible to compare her creative output with anything else on the domestic art scene and her works can be rightfully described as musically poetic, as a literary inspiration and as absolutely pure aesthetically. Her compositions are devoid of aggression, yet they are not lacking in irony and subtle sarcasm. This, together with other qualities, makes her works into interesting and timeless artifacts.