Maciej Świeszewski. On the Other Side

opening: March 22th, 2024 at 7 PM

exhibition: 22.03 – 26.04.2024



place: Galeria Piekary
ul. Św. Marcin 80/82
CK Zamek, Dziedziniec Różany
61-809 Poznań

exhibition open Monday – Friday 10 AM – 6 PM
admission always free

media patronage:

Maciej Świeszewski (born 1950) is an artist and academic teacher. Since the mid-1970s, he has been affiliated with the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk where, for the last three decades, he has headed a diploma studio. Vice-president of the Daniel Chodowiecki Foundation, established in the early 1990s by Günter Grass at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. Outside Poland, he has exhibited his works in such countries as Belgium, China, the United States, Ukraine or the United Kingdom.

Świeszewski is the author of several famous paintings, including Armenia, Lech or The Dead Class, though The Last Supper, painted between 1995 and 2005, is his best known piece. The work has been on display in the arrivals hall of the Gdańsk Airport since 2016. In 2022, the painting was named one of the ten most important artworks of the last thirty years by the Polityka weekly.

Three years after the show of abstract drawings at thw Piekary Gallery, Maciej Świeszewski returns to Poznan with an exhibition of paintings, featuring his most recent works created after 2020. In his canvases, forms undergo constant transformation. They dissolve and pulsate. Without doubt there is something psychedelic to Świeszewski’s paintings, as they strike the viewer with extraordinary colour clashes and an enigmatic aura. Their latent ambiguity leaves no one indifferent.

Is this an attempt to escape from the grim reality of recent years? From a world drifting off in a curious direction, where stability is only a memory. Time, on the other hand, seems to run from crisis to crisis. The author says that “every abstraction is a form of flight”. Perhaps, as the reality becomes more burdensome and overwhelming, art tends to gravitate increasingly towards abstraction?

The new works are a continuation of the drawing experiments on which Świeszewski embarked in the previous decade. The artist was heavily influenced by his journeys to the Far East: China, Japan and Cambodia. It is there that he found inspiration for his work, both drawings and paintings.

The abstract pieces seek to engage in a dialogue with reality and the unstable world which witnesses dynamic transformations. Simultaneously, the artist’s imagination poured onto the canvases– also large-format ones—seems to be boundless. There, abstraction combines with psychedelia to yield something extraordinary: a colourful metaphor of our times, where everything shifts like in a kaleidoscope. The boundaries between reality and fiction become increasingly blurred, and one can hardly tell any more where the human is. On this or on the other side.