The real and absurd worlds of Tomasz Kulka. An exhibition of recent works by the winner of the Grand Prix of the Bielska Jesień 2021 Painting Biennale.
Two years after winning the Grand Prix of the 45th Painting Biennale Bielska Jesień 2021 for his triptych “Game Over”, which shows a monumental vision of the end of the Anthropocene, Tomasz Kulka will present his latest paintings at Galeria Bielska BWA in an exhibition entitled. 'Pyramid of Fools'.
The exhibition is curated by Jacek Sosnowski.
Tomasz Kulka gives viewers the tools to perceive reality as an illusion, which masks the terrifying truth of how much we want the world to be governed by rules, even if they are merciless to us, and how much they do not exist. Using sophisticated painting and ceramic techniques, Kulka creates a world of religion that, although it has never existed and cannot exist, works on the level of a work of art through its visible phenomena. The worlds he creates in his paintings and installations are as real as they are ludicrous; he manipulates the viewer into believing that every last element is about something, when in fact it is simply a debauched pastime.
“Pyramid of Fools” is constructed from impressions that create an illusion of truth, but are like a conceptual construction designed to draw our attention towards the power and effectiveness of the artwork.
The work of Tomasz Kulka embraces a great variety of media, such as painting, sculpture, street art, video and ceramics. In all these areas, he is characterised by a peculiar approach to his own experiences, the transfer of stories into the dimension of universal tales, and a conscious handling of the scale of miniatures. In his artistic practice, he focuses on all that is superficially repressed, unwanted and frightening.
Tomasz Kulka was born in 1979 in Wolbrom. He is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow; honours degree in the painting studio of Prof. Grzegorz Bednarski and in the ceramic studio of Prof. Czesław Dźwigaj (2004). PhD at the Faculty of Painting of his alma mater (2019). Scholarship holder of the National Centre of Culture - Young Poland programme (2013), the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (2012, 2022) and the Artistic Scholarship of the Mayor of Wrocław (2022). Two-time winner of the Bielska Jesień Painting Biennale at Galeria Bielska BWA (2019 - 2nd prize; 2021 - Grand Prix).
His most recent solo exhibitions include: “Mein Herz brennt” at the Steiner Gallery in Vienna (2021); “Fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” at the Pharmacy Museum in collaboration with the Propaganda Gallery (Warsaw, 2021); “Triumph and Fall of the House of My Lord” at the Municipal Art Centre (Gorzów Wielkopolski, 2020); “Idolatry” at the Ogniwo Cooperative (Kraków, 2019); “Today Is My Birthday” together with Jakub Ciężki at the BWA Galeria Sanocka (Sanok, 2019). Selected group exhibitions: “Politics in Art”, MOCAK Kraków (2022); “Boys, Boys, Boys” at the Bydgoszcz Art Centre in Bydgoszcz (2022); the closing exhibition of the 45th Painting Biennale Bielska Jesień 2021 at Galeria Bielska BWA in Bielsko-Biała (2021); “Non Disclosure Agreement” at Raumstation (Vienna, 2018).
Curator and psychoanalyst, specialises in contemporary art focused on issues related to imagined social structures, identity or transformation through trauma and the healing process.
Since 2009 he has been running PRPGND (formerly Propaganda Gallery). Creator of exhibitions, projects in public space and art-branding strategies. Co-organiser of Warsaw Gallery Weekend, member of Sinthome - School of Lacanian Psychoanalysis.
Solo exhibitions of Grand Prix winners of the Bielska Jesień Painting Biennale have been held at Galeria Bielska BWA – the organiser of the biennale since 1996, as a form of the Gallery Director’s Award to the Grand Prix winner. The exhibition, presenting the artist’s most recent works created within two years of winning the prize, is accompanied by a catalogue with reproductions of paintings and critical texts about the artist’s work.
Two years ago, the jury of the 45th Painting Biennale Bielska Jesień 2021, chaired by Professor Anna Markowska, awarded Tomasz Kulka’s triptych entitled “Game Over”. The winner was praised “for his subversive affirmation of the post-human world in its various hybrid forms and themes, its captivating beauty and anti-modernist radicalism”.
Galeria Bielska BWA
Tomasz Kulka – Pyramid of Fools
1 September – 8 October 2023 (first floor)
opening: Friday, 1 September 2023, at 7 pm
curator: Jacek Sosnowski
Read more, visit the artist’s website to view his work >>
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Read more about the 45th Painting Biennale Bielska Jesień 2021 and the Grand Prix winner Tomasz Kulka >>