A Unique Blend of Eastern European Folklore, Mythology, and Feminism Takes Center Stage in Paulina Olowska's Art
Renowned Polish artist Paulina Olowska has gained recognition for her captivating artwork that seamlessly combines various influences, from the socialism of Eastern Europe to the consumerism of America, folklore, mythology, and feminism. Olowska's latest exhibition, titled "Squelchy Garden Mules and Mamunas," presented at Pace Gallery, delves deep into Slavic mythology and explores the intertwining themes of femininity and folklore.
Inspired by the late Polish painter Zofia Stryjeńska, Olowska skillfully merges modernism with folk and Slavic elements in her artwork, creating a captivating visual experience that resonates with viewers.
The Pace show takes visitors on a journey into a mystical forest, where woodland scenes painted on large canvases come to life within intricately carved wooden frames reminiscent of Black Forest cuckoo clocks. These frames cleverly conceal tiny video screens, showcasing nymph-like figures and their enchanting tales.
Olowska's artistic repertoire extends beyond traditional brushwork. She adeptly incorporates collage, sculpture, video, installation, and performance, positioning herself as a multifaceted creator exploring diverse mediums.
Having already featured in major museum shows worldwide, such as at the Kunsthalle Basel and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Olowska's talent continues to garner attention. Her work has been acquired by prestigious art institutions like the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), solidifying her position as a leading figure in contemporary art.
An Artistic Journey Rooted in Nature
Olowska's connection with nature and the Polish countryside greatly influences her creative process. For the past 17 years, she has called the town of Rabka-Zdrój, near Krakow, home. Immersed in the lush forest, Olowska draws inspiration from her environment, translating its essence onto her canvases.
"Living amidst nature has been integral to my development as an artist," revealed Olowska, clad in a vintage floral tracksuit during our interview. Initially uncertain about creating art in such surroundings, she ingeniously captured the essence of her surroundings, ultimately embracing the profound connection between her work and the natural world.
The unique ambiance of Pace Gallery in London transports visitors from the bustling city streets to the mysterious realm of Olowska's artistic imagination. Through her thought-provoking paintings and imaginative installations, she succeeds in captivating audiences, allowing them to immerse themselves in her unmistakable universe.
Collaboration and Energy Propel Olowska's Success
Olowska's creative energy extends beyond her artwork and fuels her dynamic collaborations with fellow artists and institutions. At the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo art institution in Turin, Olowska's exhibition "Visual Persuasion" tackles desire and eroticism from a female perspective.
"How do women want to think about sexuality?" asks Olowska, as she curates a thought-provoking exploration of this complex subject.
Both in her individual work and collaborative projects, Olowska's distinctive approach seamlessly blends fashion, history, and the construction of femininity. Her masterful use of various mediums and her ability to fuse elements of folklore and mythology with contemporary themes contribute to her growing success on the international art scene.
"Paulina Olowska: Squelchy Garden Mules and Mamunas" is on display at Pace Gallery London until January 6, 2024. Visitors can also experience her exhibition titled "Visual Persuasion" at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin until March 3, 2024.
Olowska's artistic prowess, her ability to transport viewers to extraordinary worlds and her constant push for innovation all contribute to establishing her as a formidable force in the art world. As her exhibitions continue to captivate audiences around the globe, her unique blend of femininity, mythology, and folklore remains unparalleled.