Andrzej Czarnacki: stubborn inclination

ms1, Więckowskiego 36
20 February - 19 April 2015 

Andrzej Czarnacki’s new project presents a concept of a dynamic world, seen as a multitude of forces struggling with each other. Works presented in the exhibition, including oil on canvas paintings, drawings and one installation, engage in dialogues with some concepts of form and thought derived from the avant-garde tradition.

Back in 2011, when participating in the Eyes Looking For a Head to Inhabit exhibition, displayed in the Lodz Museum of Art, Andrzej Czarnacki was touted among “missionaries of art” – initiators of processes of transposing traditional values into new cultural, social and political contexts. Disinterested in ambitions of conquering the world through progress, characteristic of the strivings of the historic avant-garde movement, the artist constructs in his works a particular ontological system, capturing the world in its variety and complexity. He identifies with the ethos of the constructor who diagnoses, by visual and conceptual means, the irrational onrush of that dynamic reality onto the persona, and sets out the parameters of proper interactions between them.

Among Andrzej Czarnacki’s historic points of reference are principles of physiological sight, developed by Władysław Strzemiński, which combine eye movement, muscle action and forms of objects being observed. In his project, Czarnacki emphasises the physiological foundation of perception processes, and associates them with the rhythm of muscular action. In the write-up accompanying the works, he interprets sight in the context of the onrush of external factors onto perceptive organs, which in turn transmit the impulses registered to thought processes.

According to Czarnacki, work of muscles generating body movement, work of nerve cells in the brain, and the work of thought, are in close analogies with each other; each of them is governed by the principle of balancing between opposing tendencies. “I musculate, therefore I am” is the artist’s paraphrase of the famous sentence from Descartes.

Such antagonistic viewpoint, in turn, draws an association between Czarnacki and El Lissitzky’s suprematism. As he implements, just like Lissitzky, the idea of reproducing a dynamic, stretchable and non-homogeneous space, Czarnacki aims in his works to develop a specific language of forms. Czarnecki’s paintings are characterised by a tension and susceptibility for absorption of the pictorial matter and combining it with other materials. Such qualifications become an entry point for the wrestle with the illusory, initiated by the artist, and involving simulating effects of concaveness and protrusion of the canvass. Such effects suggest the ability of the canvass to stretch and wrinkle, “seize” objects, swell into balloon shapes, as well as its susceptibility for perforation. In Czarnacki’s drawings, the individualised nature of the same tensions is suggested by the properties of diverse materials attached to the surface of the works.

Another “tensory work” – exposing tensions between forms – in the exhibition is the pneumatic installation. It marries diverse shapes and movements of five transparent balloons sticking out from a wall, being filled with air with the use of a compressor and a control circuit, with three types of movement specified by Czarnacki as present in reality: the maximum compression and collision of forces within one tendency, decompression of forces and directing them towards other tendencies, and critical tension, which essentially cancels out existing differences.

The core line of Czarnacki’s visual/conceptual deliberations, however, is the status of agency vis-à-vis the tensorium of forces. Czarnacki describes agency also in terms of tension between the sensory perception of reality – temporary and local – and the desire to synthesise its entirety. The artist associates the life of agency with a sense of shortage; excess of reality – he claims – stirs an urge to escape into the domain of innate cognitive structures. That escape impulse is construed by the artist as the “tenacious proclivity” in the title of the exhibition. According to the artist, the motive to any action is to regain the entry condition of balance and internal harmony. Czarnacki’s project shows the entity in a state of weakening and conflict with itself; it seems that the discrepancy is at the same time the condition and the driving force of his activity.

The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue with Andrzej Czarnacki’s write-up and an essay of Monika Murawska.

curator: Paweł Polit

Exhibition open until 19 April 2015

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