Scar.f in the Wind New Works by Agnieszka Zak-Bielowa
Welcome to “Scar.f in the wind”, a solo exhibit of new works by Warsaw-based artist Zak-Bielowa. Drawing from distinct international identities in her comprehensive Chusta (Shawl) series, Zak-Bielowa employs a masterful use of color and pattern, alluding to the international meaning of scarves as treasured objects across a variety of cultures, from India to Saudi Arabia, Slovenia to Poland. Critical scholar Russell Jacoby noted on the subject of multiculturalism that “ideas of diversity...are true and attractive. Multiculturalism is better than monoculture.” In her works, Zak-Bielowa aptly expresses the beauty of cultural diversity through this iconic symbol of the scarf. By manifesting the ideas surrounding national pride and native costume in the form of scarves, Zak-Bielowa plays with composition to evoke content and manipulates color and pattern to heighten the work’s aesthetic appeal. These populist references continue in the artist’s Carousel and Merry Go Round series depicting scenes of revelry and entertainment. Loose brushstrokes elicit a sense of motion and celebration shared across the common social experience of public fairs. Imbued with bright colors and a festive atmosphere, these works combine the vibrant colors found in works by Marc Chagall with an earnest figurative painting style evoking Alex Katz. Zak-Bielowa’s work evinces her masterful training at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw under the tutelage of Professor Jaroslaw Modzelewski, celebrated for his inclusion in the New Expressionism of the 1980s. She applies this careful training to these themes of multiculturalism, an issue close to her heart. The artist explains: “I came from a patchwork family: my husband comes from Ukraine, his father from Russia, [his] mother from Basarabia (Moldova/Ukraine), his grandmother was Polish and I’m also Polish. When the holidays come, all differences come to light.” This entrenched sense of cultural diversity and the impetus to celebrate our unique cultural accoutrements is evident in the Chusta (Shawl) and the Carousel and Merry Go Round series by evoking celebrations and garments that span international communities but consistently remain close to home. “Scar.f in the wind” blends a careful eye toward detailed realism, infused with ethereal qualities reminiscent of a myth or fable. Hinting at narrative, each work creates an opportunity for the viewer to engage by forming their own attachment to the works by drawing from their personal history and experience. By heightening the everyday to assume a fantastical element, Zak-Bielowa creates a subtle yet remarkable window into the ubiquitous, yet inimitable, human spirit.
Audra Lambert M.A. Art History Candidate, City College of New York Independent Curator and Editor-in-Chief, Antecedent Projects/ANTE.
May 1-7, 2017 - Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, 547 W 27th St #510, New York Opening reception May 4th, 2017, 6-8 pm Gallery hours: 11 AM - 6 PM, Tuesday through Saturday May 8-15, 2017 - the Hollows Art Space, 151 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn Opening reception May 10th, 2017, 6-8 pm Gallery hours: Varies; please visit http://www.hollows.info/ Curated by Sylwia Kolowiecka Exhibit support provided by Polish Cultural Institute in New York Scar.f in the Wind is an exhibit of recent works by artist Agnieszka Zak-Bielowa held this May at art space Emmanuel Fremin gallery in Manhattan and at the Hollows Art Space in Brooklyn. The exhibit features recent works celebrating cultural identity in the vein of vibrant realism. Featuring Zak-Bielowa’s poignant Chusta (“Scarf”) series and the series Carousel and Merry Go Round, artworks on view combine a nuanced look at pattern and composition, alluding to the individuals associated with these objects and representing scarf wearers of various backgrounds and identities. Complementing this wondrous reconsideration of the humble scarf are dreamy scenes of revelry referencing ubiquitous town festivals and fairs worldwide. Challenging notions that we are divided across national and cultural boundaries, Zak-Bielowa’s works instead create a link between foreign and familiar, past and present: a shared solidarity that is sorely needed in our current socio-political climate. Join us as we honor Zak-Bielowa’s debut at these formidable art spaces, concurrent with Frieze New York. A catalog will be issued upon the occasion of these exhibits and the artist will be available to discuss these series and other recent artworks. Press inquiries please contact: Audra Lambert, Principal: firstname.lastname@example.org Agnieszka Zak-Bielowa (b. 1982) is a Polish artist renowned for her evocative and imaginative paintings. She has garnered numerous accolades for her work including the Entry Foundation scholarship, the Jozef Szajna Award, and the 6th International Festival of Arts solo exhibition prize in Szczecin, Poland. In 2010 she was awarded a grant from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Zak-Bielowa is currently pursuing her Doctoral Degree at the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, where she graduated in 2007. She previously studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan, Italy.