Time of saturation
Mid-July is a time of colour saturation. Greenery pushes in wherever possible. Nature is still full of movement, buzzing, jittery before August’s oversaturation and entry into a gradual autumn calm. Change is inherent in the life cycle, following one after another, maintaining its dynamics. This movement, which is a colour, a form lounging between definition and metaphor, is recorded in her painting by Anna Bochenek. With meticulous consistency and joy of creation, she makes decisions to let go, to gesture freely and to curb the representation with regular, linear forms.
Her paintings are nourishing. Some are reminiscent of exotic fruits, at once soft and juicy, but also rough and unrecognisable. They evoke a synesthetic experience, also activating senses outside the visuocentric experience. You can almost taste the landscapes vibrating with colour, feel the warmth of the sun’s rays on your skin, the softness of the sand. It’s like arriving in a new place that you gradually get to know. An outline appears at the outset, dictated by initial expectations and assumptions. Only empirical experience reveals the nature of the place. We begin to encode it with our senses, record its topography, name its flavours, until, when we leave it, we are left with its image. Then the scent, carried by the wind, is enough to return there again.
Anna’s paintings are non-hierarchical – all elements are equivalent signs that build up the space. Human figures, if they appear, are harmoniously integrated into the landscape. This holistic view of the world makes the paintings full of optimistic belief in the co-existence of animate and inanimate matter. It balances dynamic moments, full of rhythmic traces/characters, with calmed, almost smooth planes, sometimes bringing out the original texture of the paper.
Geometry also watches over the composition, ordering the space and suggesting its depth. Representational elements function in this world alongside understatements and imagined fragments. This is reminiscent of traces written in the imagination, partly only possible to reconstruct and recognise.
The viewer’s imagination adds to the places the images speak of. The continuation of the landscape recorded in them takes place in the realm of memory. Some evoke almost forgotten traces of childhood, fields, prickly ears of grain, dusty city streets. Others, on the other hand, awaken the desire to embark on a journey, without a plan, following intuition and the colourful spots fixed on the canvas.
Despite the colourful saturation, the painterly record is light, the planes flow through it like clouds. Sometimes they overlap, sometimes they barely touch, but they do not compete. This meditative state of flow, according to which the images are composed, evokes a sense of calm and saturation in the viewer. Associations and sensations come and are let go to make space for the next. These are worlds where places and roles are free, chosen in harmony with themselves and each other.
Anna Bochenek creates a system of painterly signs by referring to her own experiences, taking the feeling of the places she finds as her starting point. She translates the fleshy and fragmented nature of this feeling into a set of compositions, possessing autonomy and yet universally embedded in the way memory functions.
Looking at these images, one can find one’s own individual experiences. The author merely suggests a direction for exploration, the rest is already happening in the mind of the recipient. Indulging in Anna’s paintings is like a free conversation in which there is an unappropriated space of empathy, a space to find one’s own points of reference and express them. Respecting the richness and saturation of painterly language and the silence and role of absence.
Karolina Pikosz (18.07.2023)
start 05.09.2023, 6pm