May 28 – July 31, 2021
The perversity of Łukasz Korolkiewicz’s painting reaches the viewer fully when we realize whose gaze we are using when we look at these beautifully painted, ambiguous pictures, pleasing to the eye and disturbing the spirit. We watch a painter who sometimes enjoys the afternoon sun, but he strips himself even more often, masks his face and at the same time tries to expose himself. We spy on him when he himself spies (on others, but also himself). We observe him as he walks on the muddiest ground, casting a shadow over the innocence embodied by the figures of adolescent girls (and dolls). The perversity lies in the fact that even (and especially) when it seems to us that we caught the artist in risky dialogues with his own shadow, instincts, or desires, we do not stop seeing with his eyes. Here is the ultimate duality that establishes the intriguing ambiguity of this painting.
The artist (his delights, sudden intense experience of passing, insight into the darkness he carries within himself) is both the subject and the object of cognition – he is both inside and outside of this silent discourse made of glances. He is himself and someone completely Other (and therefore also one of us, the viewer to whom the painter shows the painting). The painting turns out to be a necessary, perhaps even the only possible medium that makes it possible to look at that Other, whose identity is the key to an existential mystery, presented both to the painter and the viewer.
Stach Szabłowski, In Silence, or the Painterly Staging of Anxiety (excerpt)