opening of the exhibition: 22.02.2013, 6pm
An exhibition at the Municipal Gallery bwa in Bydgoszcz together with the catalogue is a prize in the POLYGONUM 2 competition (2nd EXHIBITION OF THE ARTISTS FROM THE KUJAWSKO-POMORSKI DISTRICT, Bydgoszcz 2010) for Iwona Liegmann (3rd Prize for the Raki cycle, 2005, the object and cycle Krasnale, 2005, plate, oil).
Iwona Liegmann is a graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, where she completed her artistic diploma in 1993 in the painting studio of Zygmunt Kotlarczyk. In 1995-96 she took postgraduate studies at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, Scotland. In addition, she received scholarships from the British Council (1995-96), Minister of Culture (2005, 2009), Mayor of the City of Torun (2005, 2008) and the Stellwerk Zollverein organisation (2006).
She has participated in many group exhibitions in Poland and abroad, including Piła (BWA Gallery, 1994 and 1997), Wroclaw (U Horszowskich Gallery, 1996), Torun (Wozownia Art Gallery, 2004 and 2005); Legnica (Gallery of Art, 2005); Sandomierz (Gallery of Art, 2005); Lippstadt (Hanse-Art-Project/Fragile/2005), Essen (Essen Gallery, 2003 and the Forum für Kunst und Architektur, 2006), Olsztyn (City Gallery Rynek, 2007), Warsaw (Pokaz Critics Gallery, 2006, Fabryka Trzciny and the Olympic Centre 2009), Miami, USA (SCOPE Miami International Contemporary Art Show, 2009)
In 2010, she won the third prize in the competition of the Artists from the Kujawsko-Pomorski District “Polygonum 2”, organised by the Municipal Gallery bwa in Bydgoszcz; and in 2012, an award for a painting at the ZPAP exhibition (Work of the Year). Also in 2012, she took part in the exhibition The Ego & The Own in the Freies Museum in Berlin and presented the performance project ‘Mary is Crocheting’ in ACUD.
With humour and playfulness, she explores faces of human mentality. Her great love for the ‘province’, expressed in the Baroque style, varies from fascination to irony. Drawing on folklore and fairy tales, as well as contemporary art and its industrially mass fabricated plastic worlds, she creates art that raises questions about cultural identity, working between the illusion of pop culture and nostalgic allusion to at least as phantasmagoric world of the past.
(Andreas Dunkell, art historian, Stellwerk Zollverein, Essen)
Contemplating the works of Iwona Liegmann, we are subject to astonishment or even dismay. Why does the author portray her models with such ferocity, omitting none of the ‘incriminating’ details that make them funny or ugly? Why does she so often use materials and colour compositions that make her works border on so-called bad taste? Miss Piggy made of plastic, stuffed bodybuilders, an aging waitress, bizarre „mascot” wrapped in foil…
Not only the subjects, but also the formal side of Iwona’s works, where the sharp, bright colours sit next to fragments of coloured plastic or shards of a mirror, cause consternation.
However, in Iwona’s works there’s no cool distance from the characters of her paintings; even though she slightly mocks these strange figures, they are part of her world, her „family.”
This is the world of Iwona Liegmann, a bit garish, sometimes grotesquely distorted, but also colourful, rich and fascinating. Once we take a closer look at it and we get to know it, consternation gives way to fascination.
We begin to understand the author’s attitude towards reality, full of irony and enchantment with modern civilisation and the products of mass production, her fascination with shoddy materials and the meticulousness with which she creates her works, as if she was bringing them to life and treating them like their own children.
Once we manage to enter that world, it becomes our world, and we are one of the figures from Iwona’s images.
Janusz Kotlewski, 04.2002
End – 24.03.2013