Paulina Olowska

Artist in Focus
29 July - 1 September 2020
Scroll

I want to explore representations of women in my paintings as figures both targeted and implicated in the multiple angles of commodity culture, the spectacle of fashion, the seduction of extravagant display and visual advertising. One of my biggest sources of inspiration is fashion, and I use fashion because it is a great spring-board to explore other metaphors. The way that the model or represented figure looks allows me to consider other issues such as politics, sociological positions, or to consider the mood that I am feeling inside, which I want to express.

Artwork: Paulina Olowska, Haunted Houses, 2019
Paulina Olowska
Haunted Houses, 2019
Oil on canvas
240 x 150 x 2.5 cm (94 1/2 x 59 1/8 x 1 in.)
Courtesy of Simon Lee Gallery
Artwork: Paulina Olowska, Monologue, 2019
Paulina Olowska
Monologue, 2019
Oil on canvas
220 x 150 x 2.5 cm (86 5/8 x 59 1/8 x 1 in.)
Courtesy of Simon Lee Gallery

I like the close relationship between performance and painting, I am engaged in both in my work. I don’t think I can exist as only a painter, since all of my work has a relationship to theatricality and performance. I consider painting to be a sort of performance, a performance with oneself in the studio… but the method of painting cannot be fully controlled. When one works with figuration, it’s an immediate reflection of the subject and the painter.

Artwork: Paulina Olowska, Lois Chiles and Unknown, 2017
Paulina Olowska
Lois Chiles and Unknown, 2017
Oil on canvas
220 x 120 cm (86 5/8 x 47 1/4 in.)
Courtesy of the artist and Simon Lee Gallery
Artwork: Paulina Olowska, Zofia Stonybroke, 2016
Paulina Olowska
Zofia Stonybroke, 2016
Collage with embroidery, oil, gouache and enamel on canvas
220 x 180 cm (86 5/8 x 70 7/8 in.)
Courtesy of the artist and Simon Lee Gallery

I start my paintings with a sense of abstraction, with just the paint and then I get more and more into detail. I really like the process of painting but I like the extremes of painting as well, so from using a heavy graffiti spray to using delicate pigments to super fine oil painting.  In a way, the secret is to underline the beauty of how painting paints itself, working within the subject and working within the psychology of the artist, and then one can be lead into the painting – the painting becomes the medium, the painting becomes the metaphor.

Artwork: Paulina Olowska, Void, 2013
Paulina Olowska
Void, 2013
Oil and collage on canvas
110 x 78 cm (43 1/4 x 30 3/4 in.)
Courtesy of the artist and Simon Lee Gallery
Artwork: Paulina Olowska, The Doll House. After Michał Wasążnik, 2013
Paulina Olowska
The Doll House. After Michał Wasążnik, 2013
Oil and collage on canvas
100 x 78 cm (39 3/8 x 30 3/4 in.)
Courtesy of the artist and Simon Lee Gallery

When I choose images for my work I usually spend a long time, and I mean sometimes years, meditating on them. In my studio I have a large collage board where I pin images that stay with me. Sometimes it could be a specific pose or gesture, sometimes a known or unknown figure, that I am attracted to for various reasons. The seduction of the image stays active in my head for such a long time that I think the process of painting becomes a process of me wanting to understand why this image speaks to me so much, as if it is a riddle to decipher.

Artwork: Paulina Olowska, Mood Boards from The Mother An Unsavoury Play in Two Acts and an Epilogue After Witkiewicz, 2015
Selected Press

Modern Matter, Paulina Olowska & Michal Wisniewski, Issue 17, 2020

The New York Times Style Magazine, Poland's Most Optimistic, Backward-Looking Artist, 2020

Art in America, Communal Luxury, 2019

Wall Street International Magazine, Paulina Olowska, 2019

Video
Play
Pause
Pavilionesque III, promotional video, 2020

Film: Barbara Borkala

Play
Pause
In the Land of Letters: Online Workshop by Paulina Olowska & Ela Jeznach, AVU Prague, 15 – 24 April 2020

Film: Barbara Borkala

Editions
Artwork: Paulina Olowska, Julie's Monologue, 2019
Paulina Olowska
Julie's Monologue, 2019
Digital print on paper
133.3 x 100 cm (52 1/2 x 39 3/8 in.)
Edition 6 of 20
Courtesy of Simon Lee Gallery
£ 1,000
About Paulina Olowska

Born in 1976 in Gdansk, Poland, Paulina Olowska lives and works between Rabka-Zdroj and Krakow, Poland.  She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL and an MFA from The Academy of Fine Arts, Gdansk, Poland, and was awarded The Aachen Art Prize (2014). Internationally renowned, Olowska’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions and projects, including Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK (2019); Fondazione Furla, Museo del Novecento, Milan, Italy (2018); The Kitchen, New York, NY (2017); Tate Modern, London, UK (2015); Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany (2015); Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2014); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2013); Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland (2013); CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CA (2010) and the Camden Arts Centre, London, UK (2009).  Major group exhibitions include the National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2019); Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK (2018); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA (2016); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2016); Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria (2016); Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2015); Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2014); Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, Portugal (2014); Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2012) and the New Museum, New York, NY (2011).  Her work belongs to major private and public collections including Tate, London, UK; Sammlung Boros, Berlin, Germany; Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland; Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, Portugal; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY. Later in 2020, Olowska will participate in the 7th Biennale Ghardëina, Ortisei, Italy; in 2021, she will perform at the Art Institute of Chicago, IL and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN.

Learn more about Paulina Olowska

Receive information on available works by Paulina Olowska

Basket

No items found

Viewing Rooms

Please provide your contact information to view this page.
By submitting this form you will be added to our mailing list.

We will process the personal data you have supplied to communicate with you in accordance with our Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in our emails.