Pull the trigger

Date: 21.01-3.04.2022
Opening: January 21, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Venue: Gdańsk City Gallery GGM2, ul. Powroźnicza 13/15
Artists: Justyna Adamczyk, Zuzanna Bartoszek, Edna Baud, Monika Falkus, Przemysław Garczyński, Paweł Matyszewski, Jan Możdżyński, Krzysztof Nowicki, Konrad Żukowski
Curator: Piotr Stasiowski
Visual identification: Michał Pecko

The Gdańsk City Gallery (GGM) is pleased to present a collective exhibition of works by nine painters entitled Pull the trigger. The opening will be held on January 21, 2022 at 6 PM and the exhibition will last until April 3, 2022.

In English – this modern lingua franca, the popular phrase “pull the trigger” has a unique sound to it, as if one were really pulling the trigger of a gun, firing a shot and setting the bullet free towards an inevitable solution. The phrase is quite different from the Polish pociągnij za spust or strzelaj! (“shoot!”). We have heard the words in a multitude of film productions, such as crime stories, mockumentaries, war melodramas or slapstics comedies. The worn-out cliche has managed to retain its original meaning: it stands for the potential of irreversible change, the anticipation of crime.

We live in a symbolic bewilderment. Surrounded by misinformation, today’s city inhabitants may believe that passing landscaping laws is like fighting windmills. As the internet keeps flooding us with kaleidoscopes of changing images and flashy colours, we search through heaps of information to find any valuable pieces. It is an unequal fight on uneven ground in which we fall prey to visual manipulation. Our attention is craved by the multitude of images produced by algorithms and artificial intelligence. And yet, we still feel the imperative to go to an art gallery to face an immobile and material painting.

The word trigger has gained quite a popularity in everyday conversations. The phrase Nie triggeruj mnie (“Stop triggering me”), meaning “stop bothering me with recurring images, negative recollections or flashbacks”, has found its place in the Polish language. What triggers us, takes us out from our comfort zones and forces to confront the rough reality and the discomfort of thinking. I would like to believe that the painting in all its material realness, detached from digital reproductions, likes and hearts, has still the power to evoke emotions in the viewer. Hanging defiantly on the wall, it is able to build suspense and tension as strong as the unexpected hand reaching for the gun, and when confronted, it can release the same energy as the one released by the finger that pulls the trigger.

The exhibition Pull the trigger is an attempt at presenting the classical medium of painting in an unclassical way. Rather than focusing on any predefined motifs, it is a collage of selected artistic stances that recently have made quite a statement. The exhibiting artists, who do not belong to any specific generational group, have been chosen as individuals with an original view of the world. Each of them tells their own story.

Piotr Stasiowski

Justyna Adamczyk was born in 1981 in Opoczno. She graduated from the Faculty of Painting, at the E. Geppert Wrocław Academy of Fine Arts in 2007. She received the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage scholarship (twice, in 2005 and 2006). In 2021, one of her paintings was bought by the J. Malczewski Museum in Radom and added to the Museum’s contemporary art collection. In 2018, her paintings were bought by the National Museum in Gdańsk, Poland. She received awards from the City Art Gallery in Łódź, Poland (2007), and the Colony of Artists Gallery in Gdańsk (2016). She took part in numerous exhibitions and contests in Poland and abroad. She lives and works in Warsaw, Poland.

Zuzanna Bartoszek was born in 1993 in Poznań. She is an artist and poet. Her works were exhibited in various galleries and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Poland; Kunsthalle in Zurich, Switzerland; Cell Project Space in London, UK; Kunstverein Kevin Space in Vienna, Austria; Arsenic in Lausanne, Switzerland; Pina Gallery in Vienna, Austria; Galeria Serce Człowieka and Stereo Gallery in Warsaw, Poland. In 2021, she released her second poetic book Klucz wisi na Słońcu (The Key is Hanging in the Sun), which was published by WBPiCAK. She lives and works in Warsaw, Poland.

Edna Baud was born in 1991. Her main areas of interest include painting and sound. Her work cleverly borrows from the avant-garde tradition, with meticulously created typography, snapshot records of mundane events and portrait representations of everyday objects. Baud constructs a monochromatic world using her trademark poetics of distance. She easily mingles pop culture references with intricate symbolism that draws on the 20th century philosophy and cultural history. The result is semiotically dense pictures ripe with multi‑threaded allegories and combining forgotten senses. Edna Baud lives and works in Gdańsk, Poland.

Monika Falkus was born in 1993 in Mikołów. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Faculty of Painting, and the Silesian University, Faculty of Art History. She paints with oil and creates installations and videos, embracing topics such as love and women’s intimacy and sexuality. She makes references to tradition, fairy tales and personal memories. She believes that moods have colours.

Przemysław Garczyński was born in 1988 in Lublin. He graduated from the University of Maria Curie-Skłodowska in Lublin, Faculty of Printmaking, and the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts, Faculty of Painting, where he studied under Professor Maciej Świeszewski. He won the first prize in the 29th OPMM Promocje 2019 Competition for young artists in Legnica and a distinction in the 2019 Nowy Obraz / Nowe Spojrzenie Competition. Author of solo exhibitions, including Porządkowanie (Cleanup) at Legnica Art Gallery and Perspektywa+ (Perspective+) at Ergo Hestia Art Pavilion in Warsaw. He also took part in a number of solo and group exhibitions in Poland and abroad, including in Tartu, Estonia, and Berlin, Germany. His works are collected by various museums and galleries, such as Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation, Legnica Art Gallery and State Art Gallery (PGS) in Sopot. He currently works as Associate Lecturer at the Faculty of Painting, Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, he participated in the Gdańskie Fasady OdNowa (Gdańsk Facades Restored) project, in which he designed and painted decorations for the renovated tenement houses in Gdańsk’s Old Town. His technique includes painting, drawing, mural painting and printmaking.

Paweł Matyszewski was born in 1984 in Białystok. He graduated from the Faculty of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań (diploma in 2009) and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Studies at the Artistic University in Poznań, Multimedia Communication Department (diploma in 2021). His works were shown during numerous exhibitions in Poland and abroad, including Les Danses Nocturnes, Rue de la Porte Royale, Entrevaux, France, 2021; Herbarium novum. Efflorescentiae, BWA Art Gallery in Bydgoszcz, Poland, 2020; Remains, Kutaisi Botanical Garden, Georgia, 2019; Young Polish Painting, National Museum in Gdańsk, Poland, 2019; Tomorrow, Castor, London, UK, 2018; The Power of Abstraction, Museum of Contemporary Art, Minsk, Belarus 2015; Gardens, Zachęta National Gallery, Warsaw, Poland, 2015; (Don’t) Touch! Haptic Aspects of Polish Art after 1945, CSW Exhibition Centre in Toruń, Poland 2015; Miłość własna. Czyli artyści kochają siebie (Self-Love, or Artist Love Themselves), State Art Gallery, Sopot, Poland, 2014; Rzeczy i ludzie (Of Objects and Men), Arsenał Gallery, Białystok, Poland, 2013; Obsession, Tartu Art House, Estonia, 2013; Ars Homo Erotica, National Museum in Warsaw, Poland, 2010. He received the scholarship of the National Culture Centre (2014). He won two awards at the Bielska Jesień painting biennale (3rd prize in 2009 and 2nd prize in 2011) organised by the BWA Art Gallery in Bielsko-Biała.

Jan Możdżyński was born in 1986 in Warsaw. In 2018, he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, where he studied under Professor Jarosław Modzelewski; he also studied law and gender studies at the University of Warsaw. His works were shown in notable venues in Warsaw, including Warsaw Museum of Modern Art as part of the Warszawa w budowie (Warsaw Under Construction) project, Stroboskop Art Space Gallery, Szara Gallery and Galeria Serce Człowieka, as well as in the PLATO Gallery in Ostrava, Czech Republic, and during the Warsaw Pomada Festival. He took part in group contest exhibits such as Hestia Artistic Journey, Geppert Competition or Bielska Jesień. Author of the solo exhibition Idźmy więc, ty i ja, kiedy wieczór na niebie rozpostarty trwa (Let us go then, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky) at Clay.Warsaw during the Warsaw Gallery Weekend. He is passionate about activism, feminism and lgbtq+ motifs. He has been practicing boxing for 20 years.

Krzysztof Nowicki was born in 1988 in Bydgoszcz. He studied painting at the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts under Professor Teresa Miszkin, where in 2013 he obtained his MFA diploma. He received the Grand Prix Award in the 2013 Hestia Artistic Journey Competition, Grand Prix Award at the 3rd Pomeranian Art Triennale, State Art Gallery in Sopot (Poland), and honorary distinction at the F. Eibisch Foundation competition. He was nominated to the Strabag Kunstforum Artaward and the 12th Geppert Competition organised by BWA Art Gallery in Wrocław. In 2014, he was invited to the Hong Kong Arts Centre as the Artist in Residence. His works are collected by major museums and galleries, including the National Museum in Gdańsk, Luciano Benetton Imago Mundi Collection and the Colony of Artists Foundation. He is currently a student of the doctoral programme at the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts. He lives and works in Gdańsk, Poland.

Konrad Żukowski was born in 1995 in Kętrzyn. He studied under Professor Andrzej Bednarczyk at the Acadamy of Fine Arts in Kraków, Poland; he also studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria. His uses painting and object art. Author of solo exhibitions, including Tych, którzy wstępują do tych samych rzek, coraz to inne zalewają wody (On those who enter the same rivers, ever different waters flow) at Clay.Warsaw Gallery; Decadent banality: in search of extravaganza at the MOS City Art Centre in Gorzów Wielkopolski (with Jan Wolski); Idź na całość (Go For It) at Gdańsk City Gallery (GGM) (with Wiktoria Walendzik); Światłowstręt (Fear of Light) at BWA Art Gallery in Warsaw (with Mateusz Sarzyński). He also took part in numerous group exhibitions, including at BWA Art Gallery in Wrocław, Warsaw Gallery Weekend, Rondo Sztuki in Katowice, Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation in Warsaw, Grey House Foundation in Kraków, and CSW Łaźnia Gallery in Gdańsk. He lives and works in Kraków, Poland.

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