Katarzyna Stryszowska-Winiarz 'Landscape of time'

opening: 1/04/2022
exhibition: 1/04/2022 – 21/04/2022

At first viewing, Katarzyna Stryszowska-Winiarz painting appears as a wonderful, abstract composition, pleasing the eyes with an effusion of sublime colors and interestingly worked out textures, which in the next step allow you to see allusively presented fragments of landscapes. It is nature that is the hero here, but perhaps it would be more appropriate to recognize that it is the elements of nature that provide a pretext for artistic search? Is it about a delight with the world of nature, the secret beauty of riverside backwaters, impressively captured in specific weather and light conditions? Or rather about a long-developed, individual solution to a research problem in the field of painting, which the author set for herself while preparing for her habilitation thesis? Probably both possibilities are not mutually exclusive. It is up to the recipient to judge and experience individuality, this is the greatness of art. The artists create, but the viewers ‘experience’ the artwork and ultimately their impression seems to be binding.

For me, Katarzyna Stryszowska-Winiarz paintings are a real feast for the eyes and a source of aesthetic relief after visual chaos or simply ugliness in the views of everyday urban life. They are a green alternative to landscapes processed by man – in my opinion – never reaching the perfection of the works of nature. But it is the painting of Stryszowska-Winiarz, in all its complexity, that can convince us of this and make us express our appreciation to this still young, but very experienced artist who takes us with her to explore the world of nature.

It is interesting how the author describes the process of creating landscape paintings, her ‘landscape interpretation’: the first experience of space is based on… sight and consists in observing the landscape. Thanks to it, we outline a visual background into which we then insert new senses and meanings. As she admits, her method is: observation and analysis of the landscape as a band of space and time. This is an important explanation that is  confirmed in her work. Full of photographically framed shots with trees, mosses, sheets of ice on the flowing water and flashes of light…

Although the display of the Krakow exhibition is strictly disciplined in terms of themes, homogeneous in showing natural motifs from fields, mountains, riverside thickets, the exhibition allows you to trace the development of Stryszowska-Winiarz’s art. The artist’s own path is very interestingly visible, juxtaposing her earlier works with characteristic – strong, but nuanced – colors in the presentation of rocky banks of mountain streams (Kościeliska Valley, 2013) with the newest, more flat compositions, built with strong colors, laid very boldly and often contrastingly (Red River, 2022, Water surface IV, 2019). Her newer works painted in this way, for example from the triptych Tree (2022), in ever greater simplification (by eliminating details in the transition from realism to synthetism) and the gradual abandonment of spatial modeling, achieve a very monumental and graphic expression. One has the impression of communing with the art of poster, but an engaged poster! The expression of colors leaves no understatement in the conviction that there is a large emotional charge contained in these paintings by Stryszowska-Winiarz. Could it be that she has permanently evolved from the synthetic decorativeness of early landscapes towards the rebelliousness once typical for fauvism?

In those first works, created ten years ago, she seemed to follow the path delineated by Julian Falat’s winter landscapes, while the newest pastels, showing grass in luminous shots, evoke inseparable associations with the impressionistic actions of other great predecessors to recall Stanisław Wyspiański and his famous cycle with the Kosciuszko Mound.

There is no doubt that Katarzyna Stryszowska-Winiarz follows her own path and it is worth observing where it leads. What will ultimately be created on the basis of the presented, tiny grass sketches (dry pastel, oil and acrylic on gray cardboard), which, according to the artist's announcements, are to be used for a larger composition in the future? Let’s expect to discover in them the eponymous time landscape.

Klementyna Ochniak-Dudek


Katarzyna Stryszowska-Winiarz

Born in 1983 in Kraków. In 2010, obtained a diploma at the Faculty of Painting of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow in the studio of Professor Stanislaw Rodzinski and a drawing annex to the diploma in the studio of Professor Boguslawa Bortnik-Morajda. In the years 2010 – 2014 she completed Environmental Doctoral Studies at the home university. In November 2014, she obtained a doctoral degree at the Faculty of Painting of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow.

Currently employed as an assistant professor at the Faculty of Interior Design at the 1st Drawing and Painting Studio of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. She participated in many projects and artistic workshops. She received the distinction of the Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in ‘Miasto Krakow’; in 2007, the Grand Prix of the M.M. Foundation. Pienkowski in 2010, the audience award of the 1st Review of Young Art ‘Fresh Blood’ at the Socato Gallery in Wroclaw in 2011. She had eight individual exhibitions, participated in thirty-five group exhibitions. Her artworks are in collections at the Krakow Saltworks Museum in Wieliczka and in private collections in Poland, the United States and Australia, among others.

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