To the Side
Contemporary painting draws extensively on the different forms of art and culture. It is especially visible in Iwona Zawadzka works. Despite her young age, she has distinctive, original
individual style. She is best known for her large format oil paintings entirely devoted to
a men, his gestures, poses and bearing.
In 2008, Iwona Zawadzka created a cycle of paintings which is referenced to the vanishing tradition of folk music and dress. This cycle was inspired by the music of the modern folk group
Ethno-Lyrics for which the artist has designed the cover of their newest album called ‚Opowieści ze Wschodu’. The album contains Ukrainian, Belarussian and Russian songs deeply rooted in the tradition of the Eastern Slavism.
Zawadzka’s cycle is an individual interpretation of this folklore. The main theme is the multiplicated female figure in motion (usually it is the portrait of the artist itself). The figures are captured while dancing, some of them clutch their sides,stamp their feet or swing their legs. These movements combine ballet subtlety and strength of the folk dance. The figures are dressed in the contemporary clothes in (as if projected )colours and shapes of folk patterns.
While creating the painting, the artist analyses and subjectively transforms the pictures of herself. She abstracts the figure from the background of the picture and transfers it onto the oil painting. The artist repeats the same female motif in different colours and again cuts it from the background with a thin contour. The body of the figure stops to be the specific person and becomes a universal representation of a body freezed in dynamic movement and flatten, abstract space.
Thanks to bold experiments in perspective, contrasting colours and contour drawing the artist creates her individual, robust style.
The cycle soothes and sends almost into the dance trance. The artist puts the spectators into the position of voyeur charmed by the girls in the patterned dresses. The new paintings by Iwona Zawadzka shows that the contemporary art is open on tradition and widely understood culture.