Memory. Trace. Purity of Form…
Formalism still has its place as we can plainly see in the work of Polish artist and designer Jacek Macha Machowski. There is a precision in the various abstracted almost industrial still lives and as well in the pieces that function as an expression of the dynamics of power, politics, namely the complexities of memory intersecting with culture and nationalism.
The artist in part intends the work to be open-ended, the abstraction and suggestion of memory allow a “body of works intentionally created in the way that makes single interpretation impossible. I want to leave the space for the recipient to let him/ her make his/ her own observations and reflections about the art-work. This approach is an integral part of my artistic work. “
Machowski demonstrates a subtle parsing of emptiness and gesture. A way with a Bauhaus like coolness and balance mean that the artist’s experimentation with printmaking techniques and a constant process of addition and subtraction of color, texture and image has a flawlessness and grace of composition. Architectural spaces exist between printmaking and painting.
The intaglio, stencil and chine-collé work Kto nie pije (He who doesn’t drink), 2015, is an example of the way composition and line render each picture into sort of still life of place and memory. One shold not miss the apparent reference to the Last Supper. And yet, this highly polished piece addresses the colloquial refrain regarding informants from Communist era “He doesn’t drink is a snitch.”
Entropia (Entropy) from 2014 is an intaglio, stencil and chine-collé and is intended as a humorous piece, the forces of physics make way in the kitchen. Irreverence and humor are also at play in the dry point from Homework (I will obey) from 2013. The piece refers to the old-fashioned practice of forcing students to write out their misdemeanors on paper as a punishment. Średnik (Semicolon), 2013, in turn, is a reference to meaning and words, and specifically to a sort of linguistic pause…. embodied in the Polish word Średnik “meaning the medium or average. It describes everything between extreme values, it is…..not the smallest or largest, somewhere between.”
Responding to the erasure of cultural tradition, this image of a totemic slavic God Svetovit was produced for the Nationalist Centre of the Culture for the 1050th anniversary of the Baptism of Poland. The artist intends the piece to be in part, a commentary on the obscurity of the region’s pagan history.