Art is a beautiful thing to me; I enjoy being with it. I paint because I am realising my talent. I follow the path that was defined by the Impressionists and 20th century contemporaries. I am inspired by a variety of formal themes – a figure, portrait, landscape – making interpretations of this and imaginative compositions.
Exactly seven years ago, Piotr Matuszek’s exhibition “Landscapes” was held at the same venue. Today, his work is again presented in this intimate space. In the exhibition “The Theme of My Memories,” we can see works made at the beginning of his artistic path, during his studies, as well as the most recent ones – from the current year. The title of the exhibition refers to the title of a work submitted in 2005 to the Work of the Year competition at Municipal Gallery bwa in Bydgoszcz.
Painting is colour! This slogan best characterises the work of Piotr Matuszek. It is colour that plays a key role in his paintings. He is not afraid of vivid colours and uses very saturated, intense colours – it is with spots and colour that he builds his expressive paintings. He has a great freedom of colour, which he learned under the tutelage of Professor Jan Szancenbach.
What is in the 45 years of the artist’s work? The most important objects without which Piotr Matuszek is unable to start his work are an easel, cardboard, brushes, and paints. He is a participant in the “mega-Art” Occupational Therapy Workshop and a member of the Reflectionist group in Bydgoszcz. Every day in class, she sits down in front of her easel and creates many picturesque series. Usually, one day is one painting. He is most fond of painting genre scenes, fairy tales, landscapes, still lifes, self-portraits and portraits of women with extravagant hats on their heads. The artist has countless sketches created in A4 and A5 formats. Sometimes there is a day when the smaller format wins out over the large one and only quick, intuitive sketches are created. He is a very versatile artist who gives his whole self to what he creates. He composes the space of the canvas or cardboard with great sensitivity and taste.
Once he gets fond of a subject, it is difficult to get him out of it. Large series consisting of a dozen or sometimes several dozen works are then created. Can another painted landscape still surprise us with anything? At first glance, we might think that this is just another view with trees in the foreground, but the feelings that arise in us after delving deeper into the drawing of this tree are very strong. These colourful trees, seemingly joyful, hide many secrets. They are full of reflection and build tension, leaving the viewer with the last word. Looking at them, we begin to notice the emotion the artist had when painting the picture. They are very personal, a reflection of his emotional states, being a conscious continuation of his painting issues. The same is true of Piotr Matuszek’s self-portraits – a static figure in whose eyes everything is hidden. The eyes are a reflection of his soul, which we can see into by looking at the painting. Whether it is a landscape or a portrait, the emotion hiding in each work is different – personal. It is the world as seen through the eyes of the artist.
Karolina Rybka (curator of the exhibition) 2023
Piotr Matuszek – a figure in our history of painting, of our environment in Bydgoszcz, the history we continued from our older colleagues and created “anew.” A colleague who has been around all the time – from the “Turwidówka” art high school, through to the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow under prof. Szancenbach, and then back to Bydgoszcz in 1981, where for a short while he even was a teacher at the art high school. What a circle at the preliminary stage for the long road in painting. Yes, at the time, terminating with oneself in the context of the intention to get as far as possible in one’s struggle was obvious. Those were the days when we were impressed by so many true old masters and current professors – the canvas, the smell of turpentine, the subject seen or imagined to be encapsulated in a painting. Silence – talking only later, at the opening, even arguing. However, Piotr’s path was different – away from the hustle and bustle, observing everything from the sidelines and painting in the studio at the WTZ in a daily rhythm. Only now can you see it, realise it, and appreciate what a story it is – to create every day. The body of his work has, of course, been shown in several solo exhibitions as a partial selection, demonstrating an uncompromising focus and scrambling of formal issues as justification for the fact of painting. Surely the timeline of his results in the context of the achievements of loudly promoted trends, breaking the rules in the salons of fashionable galleries will prove far more important.
Stanisław Stasiulewicz (friend, painter) 2023
Piotr Matuszek was born on May 8th, 1954, in Bydgoszcz. Graduate of the State High School of Fine Arts in Bydgoszcz (1969–1974). Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow (1974–1980). Diploma in painting, under Prof. Jan Szancenbach. Member of the Association of the Polish Visual Artists. Since 1993, he has been participating in the workshops of occupational therapy at 1 Stawowa St. in Bydgoszcz. He is the author of over a dozen solo exhibitions and has participated in numerous group exhibitions. He paints and draws.
Start 01.12.2023, 18.00
3 Gdańska St.