Aleksandra Urban and Malgorzata Skrzetuska

LETO Gallery

March 11, 2008


14.03 – 07.04.08

Opening Night: 14.03.08 7.00 – 10.00 P.M.

LETO Gallery
Director: Marta Kolakowska
u. Hoza 9c,
Warsaw PL00528
phone: 48 22 499 59 16
mobile: 48 501 696 440
[email protected]

Sometimes, everyday life starts to disturb us slightly. What seemed usual, familiar and even in a way trivial, suddenly takes unexpected shapes; just as reality denuded of all its deficiencies and secrets. The “Double check” exhibition is an attempt to register the specific moment when we start to doubt in what we are surrounded by, and reality does not seem to be the same safe space anymore…

“Double check” operates based on the principle that may be summarised in one of Lyotard’s sentences: everything that was inherited, even if it was yesterday, should be an object of suspicion1.

Although this thought is one of the attempts to define post-modernity, it can also refer to the problem that constitutes the essence of the exhibition. The point is about keeping a specific distance to what I face every day, about caution, and scrutinising the phenomena that surround us. Such behaviour entails a certain type of prudence, which allows for noting unusual phenomena where seemingly there are not, or, on the contrary, makes us aware about the truth of our own, subjective reality according to which there are no facts, only our interpretations. A more detailed observation of reality entails many consequences; suddenly the world seen in different colours shows us what we do not note on the surface. Just as waking up, when we can perceive a sharper outline of reality, or just the opposite — washes out in an illusory image.

The works of two artists displayed in the exhibition –Malgorzata Skrzetuska and Aleksandra Urban — although formally completely different, posses a joint point of contact. Namely, in both cases the painting realm is a strongly unreal vision of everyday life. Built based on their own experience and ability to observe, it shows a different world which accompanies us and operates in parallel. The assumption that it is not about direct delivery of “this” reality, but about indicating a certain subtle allusion as to what is possible to be comprehended but not necessarily presented, seems important. In the first case, we see an anonymous city by night. We find ourselves at a fuel station, in a roadside bar. Only outwardly, as the reality proposed by Skrzetuska is like a night afterimage, completely vibrant. The objects lit with the street neon light do not resemble those you see during the day. The city by Skrzetuska is slightly dangerous, we grope our way, looking for familiar shapes and situations. We squint our eyes, try to perceive the reality which is tamed by us, but the colourful lights emerging out of the darkness build only cascades of twinkling points. Skrzetuska does not tell a story. Motives, reasons and consequences of actions are not important in her pictures. There is only the secret of the city. And that is what is outside. But there is also this other world, being in opposition. In our imagination, being a transposition of what we see and experience. This visual structure, digested by the senses, sometimes couples surrealistic images in which the world takes form from the line of life itself, which spins, spreads, and is unceremonious and sweet. Aleksandra Urban declares to be a fan of contemporary pop aesthetics, whose centre is the human being. Her paintings are dominated by chaos, bizarre conglomerate of various shapes and contents extracted from pictures we know perfectly, as we see them every day in colour magazines. Observing the ease with which the artist uses extracts from pop culture, we note an abundance and multitude of stylistics, but on the other hand, their certain ambiguity…

text: Katarzyna Urbanska
1 Jean-Francois Lyotard, “Postmodernism for children”, Warsaw 1998, page 23

Aleksandra Urban

b. 17.03.1978 in Jelenia Góra

Diploma in painting at the Faculty of Painting and Sculpture, atelier of Prof. Nicole Nascova, Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw.

Scholarships of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in 1998 and 2003.

Selected exhibitions:

2007 — “Quadro Art” International Picture Biennale, Lódz
2007 — Edinburgh Art Festival – Art Space Gallery, UK
2007 — “Project 2 2 1″ — Browar Mieszczanski, Wroclaw
2006 — Egeria, 23rd art salon, Ostrów Wielkopolski
2006 — “Pro Figura”, Rostock, Germany
2006 — “Gardens”- Painting Biennale, BWA Walbrzych
2006 — “Promotions” – BWA Legnica
2004 — Graduation exhibition, BWA Wroclaw
2004 — Biennale “Fisheye 3″, Slupsk
2002 — individual painting exhibition “Cigarette smoke”, Wroclaw

Malgorzata Skrzetuska

b. 25.05.1978 in Wroclaw

1998-2004 — studied at the Faculty of Graphics and Painting of the Wladyslaw Strzeminski Academy of Fine Arts in Lódz
major in Graphics (diploma in graphic design)
annexe from panting at the Faculty of Fabric and Clothing
atelier of painting and drawing of prof. Tadeusz Sliwinski, ass. Kamil Kuskowski


2007 — Edinburgh Art Festival, Art Space Gallery
2006 — “2plus2plus1″ collective exhibition, Wroclaw -Stary Browar
2002 — Collective exhibition “Drawing Academy”, Nowy Sacz
2001 — Collective exhibition: Polish National Co-operation Exhibition-The beginning of New.Polish art of young generation, Poland-Canada, Montreal
1997 — individual painting exhibition, Erfstadt, Germany