Vibrant patterns emanate from a central focal point, balanced against light and shadow. The object comes into focus: familiar, yet exotic at the same time. Encountering works by Agnieszka Zak-Bielowa one begins to remember the objects they began to forget: treasured childhood memories resurface. Zak-Bielowa's nuanced foray into imagination and remembrance is aided by her excellent technical skills: fine brushmarks delineate the space between light and dark, foreground and background. The subtle motion of the subjects of her Chusta, or Shawl, series is embedded within the masterful brushstrokes she uses to compose these objects.
In Zak-Bielowa's world, shawls come to celebrate family and tradition in a contemporary light. The deftness with which she treats her subject conveys compassion and longing. In a world of expansion and acceleration, the Chusta works represent conviviality: a human connection with those we love at a manageable pace, eschewing the frantic digital pace of our daily lives. What emerges from artworks by Zak-Bielowa is a thoughtful and considered approach to cultural legacy and tradition. She employs painting as a means to reclaim the space of wistful attachment: a shawl becomes a fragment of a family dinner, a place on which we laid our head, a treasured family heirloom. Shawls come to represent our very humanity.
Agnieszka Zak-Biewlowa's paintings will be on view at the exhibit Scar.f in the Wind, curated by Sylwia Kolowiecka with support from the Polish Culture Institute New York. This traveling exhibit is on view at Emmanuel Fremin gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan from May 1-7, with a reception hosted on Thursday, May 4 from 6-8 , and subsequently at The Hollows in Brooklyn from May 8-15, with a reception on May 10th from 6-8 pm.