The exhibition Between premieres the title series of works by Kamil Kuskowski, complemented by – and making up the whole with – two earlier cycles: Obrazy obraz (Paintings of Insults) and M2.
The art of Kamil Kuskowski is characterized by a conceptual approach to the medium of painting, which reveals the ability to renew its meaning. The artist deliberately plays with the resources of art history, entering into a dialogue with other art pieces or artists, the discourse of the art world, its rules, hierarchy, and the art market.
The latest cycle Between comprises twenty-five sculptures and twenty-five paintings. It addresses the subject of the relations resulting from the oeuvre of three avant-garde artists, including the works of Kazimierz Malewicz, the alphabet and architectural works of Władysław Strzemiński and the space compositions of Katarzyna Kobro. The form of Kuskowski’s works is based upon the alphabet developed by Strzemiński. Between reveals itself in the mutual relationship between the artists, formal similarities in their works, surface and space, and, last but not least, black and white. The cycle becomes an artistic, unorthodox investigation within the field of art history.
The Polish title of the series Obrazy obraz (Paintings of Insults) (2014) is a pun referring to complex relations observed in the group: recipient – work of art – creator. Such relationship gives the recipient an unlimited possibility of verbal critical reaction to the viewed artefact, and, indirectly, to its author. From the formal point of view, the works are classic monochromes. When it comes to their content, it reflects an attempt to depict the title obrazy (insults), which express invectives or critical forms appearing in response to what is seen on the canvas.
In the series of works M2 (2012), the artist raises the question of the value of real property comparing it with the art market. In a formal sense, Kuskowski refers to Piet Mondrian’s neoplastic art. Juxtaposing a flat with a painting whose value is equivalent to the area of a flat (one square meter of a painting being equivalent to one square meter of an apartment in Warsaw), he poses questions about the irrationality of the price and judgement of an art piece.
The art guarantee is given by means of painterly interventions upon the surface of canvas prints. Since the game in which the painting is involved is nothing more than a market game, such guarantee is all the more necessary. Only the market makes it possible to equal the incomparable: a square meter of a painting featuring an apartment and a square meter of the apartment itself. What remains impossible to determine is the risk. There is no certainty what investment will generate better return: the one in painting or real estate.
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication produced in collaboration with the Department of Painting and New Media at the Academy of Art in Szczecin.