Beata Ewa Białecka: „Acupictures”


Beata Ewa Białecka: „Acupictures

29.09 – 05.11.2017

exhibition opening: 29.09 (Friday), 6 PM / admission free



The paintings by Beata Ewa Białecka emerge from the artist’s constant dialogue with both traditional Christian iconography and the iconosphere of popular culture or the world of advertising. A post-feminist artist, Białecka does not need to focus on the struggle for fundamental rights, as was the case with the so-called first-wave feminism, but turns her gaze towards individual choices, the conditions of life in consumerist culture, and re-defining the status of women set in traditional social roles. In her paintings one can observe how Christian iconography becomes feminised, as can be seen in the subversive play on the traditional definitions of masculinity and femininity as well as in the manifest appreciation of women. For many years now, I have had a deep affection for these blasphemous paintings, which demonstrate more empathy, warmth and understanding towards women than any dogma or example of traditional iconography. The “Priestess”, her hands raised and outstretched in a majestic orant posture, solemnly celebrates the mass of womanhood.

Embroidering paintings is a novelty in Białecka’s artistic work, which indeed has endowed it with some really surprising features. The meditative energy of an act of creation is encapsulated not only in every single brush stroke, but also in every single thread sewn into the surface of the painting as if through an embroidery hoop. The painting canvas thus becomes an embroidery frame, which is then pierced by the artist – not unlike in the process of acupuncture. As a result, the embroidered elements are of a different nature than the parts covered with paint and engage in a dialogue with the tradition of religious embroidery, the metal casings in the form of dress placed on icons of the Virgin Mary, or the sumptuous liturgical vestments and banners.

The paintings by Beata Ewa Białecka, Mannerist in the positive sense of the term, are constantly developing and crossing ever more horizons, both in terms of the content – in the convention of post-feminist critical art – and the artistic form. The topics addressed in her work include a number of currently important issues, such as the fascination with whatever happens to be in vogue at the moment or the contemporaries becoming ensnared in the must-have mentality. It is inevitable that her paintings also become political. Her work is indeed exceptional and constitutes a particularly original phenomenon in contemporary Polish art.