R E N A T A    J A W O R S K A
ATELIER JAWORSKA | atelier@renatajaworska.com
Maps and territory





Renata Jaworska: "Maps and territories"

 Stanisława Zacharko-Łagowska 

 Curator of exhibition / The Head of BWA in Kielce 






„Maps and Territories” - this title of the wide range cycle of the most recent works by Renata Jaworska seems literally informative when confronted with the works themselves. Each one of them is a precisely plotted, though with a brush, map of a certain area imitating reality, unless we look carefully, and this careful insight into the dense and disciplined drawing-painting make us notice a territory belonging to the inner world of the artist, taken out from her emotions, feelings and experiences. This territory is as if built over the plans of specific places related to and depended on her life,and enriched by these places through experiences and considerations connected to them.

The artist confesses that, this part of her art is the result of efforts to answer the question “where do I belong to?” Her cultural status is based on her Polish origin and nurture, family, national and religious traditions, but also on her artistic temperament, fascination of the world and art, and some crucial decisions this fascination provoked which resulted in becoming a graduate of a German University, a disciple of charismatic Jorg Immendorff, and an artist living and working in Germany. Maybe it is also an attempt to look from outside, from a distance, on the tangled paths of life marking the areas and borders of her existence?

A map being the flat, abstract, graphical image of the 3D space plays a triple role in her works: mean of expression, composition scheme, starting point for an author’s artistic commentary. She brings into the semantic area of her works also their function and idea: as an image of a place and as a guide that protects us from getting lost in the 3D space and helps to find a right way through it.

The base for the complex tissue of these attractive, eye-catching pictures is a painting matter consisting of several layers, each painted differently and having different meaning. The first one is the background – in many cases the most “atmospheric”, moody, and painterly; this background can be sometimes neutral, usually softened with delicate whitened colours, often having a “patchwork” structure where cool tones move behind warmer ones thus creating a non-map illusion of three dimensions. Such background complements the schematic copy of the map of specific place or city. The next layer consists of minutely drawn numerous straight lines, both colour and black, criss-crossing at various angles, bundles of them emphasizing the geometric character of the space. Often they form a construction or an artistic context for the last layer, the most personal, imbued with emotions encoded in intense colours and strong, expressive brush strokes. It has a form of casual arrangements of soft, free, colourful stripes, as if, to some extent, painted automatically and uniting all elements of the composition. The artist does not help the viewer to decode the content of her works. Sometimes there is a subtitle, a sort of caption given to the work, which does not explain anything. Phrases like “Is it still Radom?”, “Nothing good comes from the East”or“Soon”mustrefertoherinnerexperiencesand remain incomprehensible outside. The lack of possibility to decipher this personal records is compensated by the compositions open for the viewers’ interpretations and associations, which complement the “maps and territories” with their own conscious and subconscious feelings.

Especially interesting, comparing to the “Maps and Territories” cycle are untitled, big size, drawings and paintings presenting vast skies with tiny dots of birds and thick matter of delicate lines that can be associated with trajectories of their flights. In some works this record turns into strong rhythmic structure of parallel lines, a shape similar to a sketch drawn on the sky by a big flock of birds. A very alike structure appears in the work VI from the “Maps and Territories” cycle. The juxtaposed views of the Earth seen from the sky and the sky seen from the Earth place an observer outside, however somewhere in between.

The paintings by Renata Jaworska, seem to be close to abstract art, yet they are deeply rooted in the reality and the experience of her own identity. Józef Czapski (1896- 1993), a renown Polish artist and art connoisseur used to say that there were pictures which “feed the artist”. It looks like this is the case of the “Maps and Territories”: they feed their author with self-consciousness developed during the act of creative contemplation of her own feelings, deposits of emotions faded out by time, baggage of life experiences. And this self-consciousness results in high artistic and aesthetic qualities of this excellent art.