Tomasz Ciecierski

Tomasz Ciecierski, Czerwony imperator / Red emperor, 1976

Opening: Friday, 08.12.2023, 7 pm

The exhibition will open untill 03.02.2024

Tuesday–Saturday, 12 noon–7 pm
Profile Foundation
Franciszkańska 6

Free admission

Tomasz Ciecierski likes to perceive the interiors of his studios in terms of labyrinths with rows of paintings, stacks of stretchers, and piling up boxes with hundreds of drawings. This is how he presents them in a series of collages with intricate sequences of overlapping spaces.

In the labyrinths of these studios, in various nooks and crannies, he finds early works, first drawings and paintings.  The works from the 1970s, most of them never shown, make up the current exhibition. But for the artist it is not a simple going back in time. Paintings from almost half a century ago had their continuations and reinterpretations in the following decades on canvases, in drawings and collages. The magician from 1976’s The Red Emperor returns in this year’s collage compositions. Streamers and confetti from Airiness from 1975 appear in collages from recent years and in a whole series of “joined together” paintings. The figurines populating the instructional drawings from the early 1970s return in subsequent formulas: expressionist, constructivist, futuristic. Rushing battle crowds and single figures, silhouettes reduced to a simplified sign, wander from paintings to drawings and vice versa, cut out or photographed, undergo subsequent metamorphoses in collages.

Tomasz Ciecierski, Bez tytułu / Untitled, 2023

The 1970s seem to be crucial for all of Ciecierski’s later work, created are at that time paintings alogical and, above all, hybrid, in which various media and techniques were mixed. Photos and fragments cut from other canvases appear on canvases, pictures are drawn, and drawings are often treated in a painterly manner. On both there are plenty of drawn or written scribbles. Reluctant to academic traditions, he finds more life in street doodles, on the windows of being renovated stores, in dark alleys or in public toilets. Instead of setting another ones still lifes, the artist prefers to take a photo of something that catches his eye. Hence his enthusiasm for pop art recording street culture. Contrary to all metaphors, he likes to reduce painting to its substantiality, painting or photographing brushes, palettes, tubes of paint, and finally simply having glue them to the surface of the paintings. The latter ones cannot be classified as either abstraction or figuration.

The trajectories of Ciecierski’s artistic practice are well reflected in the confusing figure of a labyrinth: winding, intersecting paths of recurring motifs, repeated threads or seemingly abandoned topics. It’s not even about the patchwork structure of his works, but about constant reshufflings and decompositions, as in the recently created collages in which the artist looks at himself and his early paintings.