May 15, 2010
March 25, 2010—For his fourth solo exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery, Polish artist Wilhelm Sasnal has selected a group of paintings organized around topics of personal contemporary life. This selection includes not only pictures of his friends and family but also views of the sea and sky. Parallel to his expanding practice and recognition as a filmmaker, Sasnal continues to engage the viewer with painted images of stillness, privacy, and solitude.
Images of his wife, his son, friends and a startling gynecologist complement views of the night sky, the vast ocean, painted in broad uninterrupted fields of color generously spread across the canvas. The figures are standing still, looking intently at the scene before them, an industrial landscape here, a large pool of teal-blue water there. Or they recline, under a tree, on the beach, in bed. But these are not moments of leisure, but rather of contemplation and thoughtfulness, of hushed conversations, of silence or dreamlike muteness. As in the painting of a boy calling out to the viewer who – standing at he painterʼs vantage point, namely far out in the ocean - is unable to hear his voice. His voicelessness dominates the painting in the form of a large biomorphic white shape that seems to trigger modernist memories in the viewer. Sasnal employs a large range of pictorial alternatives extending from methods used in
Sasnal employs a large range of pictorial alternatives extending from methods used in illustrative commercial art to complete abstraction. Every picture is a singular event, which applies not only to his chosen motifs but also to his pictorial mode. These works are private and almost intimate, their strength lying in the slowness of the moment, the halting of the present, their ability to slow down contemporary life to the point of stimulating metaphorical meaning and universal memories of intimate feelings and modern life.
2010Art ReviewReview: Wilhelm Sasnal