The presentation consists of the latest paintings by Radek Szlaga, created on the basis of his study of the language of painting as a medium and considering underestimated narratives and relations between art, information and knowledge.
In the artist’s latest works, travellers’ boasts, drunken stories and news offered by the so called mainstream media gain a
similar level of import and cognitive value.
The disturbance in the hierarchy of sources is very clear on the level of both the method of painting and technique.
When ‘building’ new canvases, Szlaga uses his own existing works as source material.
Images that differ temporally, thematically or formally become a new, multi-layered whole.
In this way, the artist not only discusses an individual’s contemporary approach to information, but also ‘sums
up’ his own work, giving it a new meaning and examining it from a distance.
The presentation can be seen as a peculiar atlas —elements are bound together to make up the individual works show the
entire spectrum of the themes he has been working with thus far.
Long-term artistic analyses of subjects such as identity, painting and the relationship between the centre and the periphery are joined on a single plane.
Szlaga pays particular attention to the nature of the map and its variants, such as the globe or the atlas as symbols of a culture dominated by visuality, in which ‘I see’ means both ‘I know’ and ‘I possess’.
b. 1979, lives and works in Brussels (BE) and Detroit (US).
Graduate of the University of Arts in Poznań. Szlaga’s primary media are painting, drawing, sculpture and installation as he takes an adventurous and experimental approach to Eastern European and American visual culture, while making full use of the imagery of his own subconscious. Central to Szlaga’s work is the exploration of identity and the boundary between its reality and simulation. His practice relies on both historical research and an introspective mining of his own memories and dreams. Szlaga describes his painterly approach as „a way of thinking“ implying a constant re-thinking and ‚peeling off‘ of layers of tradition and history through the selective recycling of archived and found imagery, which he often literally „cuts and pastes“ as he transfers fragments from one canvas to another.
Szlaga has presented his works at:
KUMU (Tallinn), NEST (Den Haag), CCA Ujazdowski Castle (Warsaw), Württembergischer Kunstverein (Stuttgart), National Museum in Poznań, Foksal Gallery (Warsaw), Zachęta — National Gallery of Art (Warsaw), Galerist (Istanbul), Postmasters Gallery
(NYC), National Art Museum of China (Beijing), Trinosophes (Detroit), Performa 13 (NYC), Contemporary Art Centre (Vilnius), National Museum in Szczecin, Museum Jerke (Recklinghausen).
Works are held in the following collections:
Société Générale Collection Paris, European Central Bank Art Collection Frankfurt am Main, The ING Polish Art Foundation Collection Warsaw, CCA Ujazdowski Castle Warsaw, Museum Jerke Recklinghausen, Osman Djajadisastra Collection Germany, National Museum in Poznan, National Museum Gdansk.
Founded in 2007, LETO Gallery is a major player on the Polish contemporary art scene. Through the unconventional perspective and fearless choices of its founder, Marta Kołakowska, the gallery has established itself as a site of cooperation, education and promotion for the millennial generation of artists, namely, those who came of age after the fall of communism in 1989. The work shown by the gallery is vigorously expressive and even brutal at times.
Above all, the gallery’s motto is based on the idea that the greatest resource we have at our disposal is the community. The goal is to build strong connections with people and maintain a sense of honesty and integrity in every project.