Ryszard Górecki – LOVE

This exhibition is the first in a series of presentations of the artist’s work to be held in Poland and Germany. Górecki returns with a vengeance to share his views, which are an odd mixture of pessimism and fascination, on the neoliberal world and its approach to contradicting values, such as good and evil, science and religion, vitality and death, violence and love.

Galeria Bielska BWA in Bielsko-Biała is the first stop on Ryszard Górecki’s art tour in 2020– 21 featuring LOVE – an exhibition of canvas paintings and works on paper. In the 1990s, the artist ran famous Galeria Prowincjonalna in his hometown of Słubice on the Polish-German border and received the prestigious ‘Paszport Polityki’ Award in 1994 for his cross-cultural activities. He moved to Berlin in 2002, where he has lived and worked since. Each of the forthcoming exhibitions, at the National Museum in Szczecin, Galeria Wozownia in Toruń, BWA in Jelenia Góra, Arttrakt Art Gallery in Wrocław, Dieselkraftwerk Art Museum in Cottbus (Germany) and Galeria BWA in Zielona Góra, will constitute a separate presentation of Ryszard Górecki’s achievements. Galeria Bielska BWA will showcase an original selection of his works from the last 20 years – all of them created in Germany.

Also focusing on the last 20 years of Ryszard Górecki's work is a joint publication entitled Love which has been compiled by BWA Zielona Góra.

Wojciech Kozłowski:
Ryszard Górecki is an extraordinary artist working on the borderline between two languages, two cultures, two countries; an artist whose fate has been firmly tied with history, with some threads already loose, others still tangled up; an artist able to make use of and process his geographical location. Górecki’s work can be perceived as a story about a world which draws inspiration from the stock market, a pizza box, a discarded object found during a walk or an important historical event. For him, painting serves accurate expression and at the same time, cannot be fully controlled. These ambiguities in Górecki's work, which form an anthem to creative irresponsibility of mankind, make up an odd mixture of pessimism and fascination on the neoliberal world and its approach to contradicting values, such as good and evil, science and religion, vitality and death, violence and love. Perhaps the most important and thought-provoking point of reference in this art is entropy – that relentless and unstoppable process that can only be slowed down a bit without any real consequence. At a time when artists are often accused of reluctance to promoting universal values, Górecki's work can be described a generalizing tale of global uncertainty, overwhelming ambiguity, and multidimensional character of the present-day world, whose meaning we have to work out on a daily basis, as we have long realized that it is not given us once and for all.

Ryszard Górecki:
These paintings combine elements of artistic routine and traces of unique and emotional events. I strive to create paintings which appear almost monochromatic at first glance, and yet send powerful messages, very much like logos do, and at the same time, they contain hidden meanings which the viewer can figure out, often after ruminating over the title and technique of a work. I’ve observed that this revelation often brings about a feeling of surprise, disgust or even terror. Each painting is made on a piece of primed white canvas which records random traces of creative processes and my daily life in the studio in the form of the brush strokes that are left behind. (...)

Ewa Gorządek, Art as a By-product in the Process of Genre Development, The Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, 2006:
(…)Painting is the artist’s primary means of expression, and as he stresses himself, the idea behind each work is the most crucial. Each of his paintings presents a problem which has prompted the artist to create the work in the first place. His aesthetics are similar to those used in the mass media – a particular cultural product that is utilized for commercial and political purposes. In the era of post-industrialism and information society, the media are dominated by commercials and marketing persuasion with a specific language of communication, a language that is concise, schematic, and excessively simplified, all these in order to convey clear messages (...)

The world depicted in Górecki's canvases and murals is artificial, composed of processed elements that already exist in our contemporary environment which is filled with objects and copyable patterns produced by machines and electronic media. Not only does the artist signal various social threats, but he also shows to what extent we are immersed in artificiality, in routines and model solutions that organize our lives. We are often guided by such stereotypes and never fully realize the extent to which our freedom of choice is in fact only apparent. (...)

Ryszard Górecki – born in 1956 in Słubice. An interdisciplinary artist active in painting, object art and installation. Exhibition curator and teacher. Graduate of the University of Zielona Góra (degree in 1979). In 1980–2002, he created and ran the Provincial Gallery in Słubice and Art in CP at the Collegium Polonicum UAM. In the years 1998–2005, he was the curator of the Polish Contemporary Art Programme at the Brandenburg Museum of Contemporary Art Cottbus-Frankfurt (Oder). Winner of the “Polityka” Passport (1994). Multiple scholarships from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage in Warsaw and the Culture Foundation in Berlin. He is interested in deforming science and combining popular culture with social sciences, history and the meta-language of art. Experiments with found objects and consumer products. He lives in Berlin.

Video: guided tour to the exhibition led by Stach Szabłowski