By subterranean, I mean within the terrain of the mind, the imagination of the artist…and indeed contemporary painter Przemyslaw Widel’s interior Studies seem to be about the depth of pigment, of dreams and horror, of familiarity and erasure. There is complexity in these ordinary scenes….
These strange rooms – they are the moments in dreams when you find yourself in a space without any real accounting for how you arrived. You remember this place, nevertheless and suddenly something unrelated appears, or something horrific. It is memory without remembering, echoes of ideas. There is a suggestion of something waiting ……what the artist calls a scenography painting, inspired by the dramatic moment in a thriller before…… This tension of emptiness and fullness.
Conversely, unlike these empty spaces, Widel’s disturbing picture Witnesses evoke something different, heavy with bodies meant to “depict something uncomfortable and hypnotizing.”
In all of the paintings there is a relationship with the brush, the dirt of painting, the moment where the pigment takes you to another space. In this practice, Widel expresses as well his interest in being connected to the corporeal and earthly experience of living, and notes that “the painting possesses is kind of magic for me. When I paint I know that I am in another reality.”
The artist is interested in the philosophy of Buddhism, and as well points to his fascination with Velazquez, saying the artist possesses a certain wizardry. This sense of engima remains at the core of Widel’s practice, immersed in a very corporeal expression of space, feeling and texture. A baroque painterly impasto reminds us of the grim yet ornate pictures of Hans Makart, a sensibility transformed through the funnel of the mind of Oskar Kokoschka whose interest in the primacy of the immaterial as expressed in the material….a way of painting that seems to continue in the work of Widel.
Learn more about the artist here.