Olga Lewicka - Cloudility

Place: Gdańsk City Gallery 1, Piwna street 27/29
Opening: 2nd of February, 7:00 P.M.
Exhibion: 2nd of February 2018 - 4th of March 2018
Artist: Olga Lewicka
Curator: Adriana Prodeus
Coordination: Gabriela Warzycka-Tutak

The cloud as a method of action, a state of matter of the societies, a model of perceiving the world in a constant metamorphosis. The cloud as rebellion – sensual, spiritual, Feminist. Sounds like science-fiction? In her paintings, Olga Lewicka proves that a real transformation – not merely superficial, but the most profound and inevitable – is within reach. It is enough to trust the seismograph of the image, notice the dangerous beauty that emanates from the nebula of colours, and finally – to surrender to the intuition of the self-forming cloud. And never stop investigating, since the process of forming convictions must indeed be endless.

Lewicka immerses herself in the painterly tradition of her predecessors, while consciously remaining here and now. Insightful, vigilant, perfectionistic, she does not reconstruct former meanings that stem from the painterly studies of clouds, but evokes history in order to release the process of perception from it. She insists that it should be untamed, she allows it to tame her, she lets the cloud fill her. Whilst painting large-scale, intensely colourful compositions, the artist’s broad gesture acquires a certain elusiveness (spiritual experience?), while it also adopts the power of heaviness – and all of this is embraced in the very dynamics of clouds parading in the sky. Their changeable architecture, which for ages has inspired human fantasies of recognising familiar shapes, holds a question about our perspective. It seems that we see something, but it is in fact merely a harbinger of an adventure. For is it not a promise of the contemporary that science and technology will soon offer us the possibility to look everywhere?

The artist does not believe it to be true. She argues that perception becomes lost between the scale of the microscope and the macroscale of galaxies. That the process of perception – fragile and irritable, akin to constantly forming clouds – happens largely in the spaces where we know nothing. After all, we see with our entire bodies, and this can be clearly sensed while standing in front of her paintings. It is reflected by the tissue of her canvasses, formed of cut and recomposed fragments of Lewicka’s works from the previous dozen or so years. With unique lightness and self-irony, the artist destroys what she has created. By cutting she tries to see things anew. The poetics of scraps, seductive organic forms, is permeated by the wild joy of creation and an acute sense of humour in relation to herself and to painting as such.

The exhibition at the Gdańsk City Gallery features selected works by Olga Lewicka from the cycle Cloudility as well as the afterimages of the artist’s book that provides a textual and visual context of her painting practice. The presented works reflect her Feminist approach: open resoluteness and, above all, sensitivity to everything that appears throughout the creative process, including even momentary deconcentration akin to brisk particles of vapour. Lewicka proves that a vision – painterly, social, philosophical – may come in the form of a flock of fluffy clouds or arrive at the shore like a tall ship. Paraphrasing the sentence from the Book of Exodus: I will come in a thick cloud that you may believe.